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Care Fragmentation In Jones Hospital

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Executive Summary There is opportunity to improve the quality of health care in Jones Hospital. Information technology (IT) offers the potential to address the organization’s most pressing dilemmas: care fragmentation, medical errors, and rising costs. The leading example of this is the electronic health record (EHR). An EHR, as explained by HealthIT.gov (n.d.), is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. It includes, but is not limited to, medical history, diagnoses, medications, and treatment plans. The EHR, then, serves as a resource that will aid Jones Hospital clinicians in decision-making by providing comprehensive patient information. Care Fragmentation Health care fragmentation, as interpreted by Einer Elhauge (2010), Petrie Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, occurs when a patient receives poorly managed care. Within Jones Hospital, such care exists on many levels. During a hospital stay, for example, a patient may express an aspirin allergy to a nurse who, in turn, does not effectively document or communicate that allergy. This can result in the following nurse administering aspirin. Beyond a hospital stay, a patient may also experience a lack of coordination among providers. A surgeon could administer a post-operation, high-sugar therapy on a diabetic patient without consulting the endocrinologist. Fragmentation, as highlighted by these examples, can lead to care decisions that place patients in jeopardy. The EHR reduces fragmentation by providing a comprehensive view of a patient’s medical history. It will allow Jones Hospital clinicians to properly coordinate patient care. This very feature increases the opportunity for better outcomes and reduces the risk of medical error. Medical Errors M... ... middle of paper ... ...its clearly justify its implementation. Studies and reports have demonstrated that implementing an EHR can result in better patient care outcomes. By assembling existing patient clinical information from various sources, the EHR formulates a common and concise patient view from each healthcare stakeholder. It is widely acknowledged that the EHR will be the foundation for the healthcare industry to better address its major challenges, such as medical errors, care fragmentation, and escalating expenses. It will also allow the industry to bridge the existing medical-knowledge gap. The adoption of EHRs is beginning to grow. The US government has much to do with that, establishing rules with financial incentives and eventual penalties. These actions confirm the power that EHRs holds to bring about significant change and reform to the healthcare industry overall.
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