The Health Information Technology For Economic And Clinical Health Act

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Paving the Way to Computerized Charting The passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) Act “encouraged healthcare organizations and providers to adopt and effectively utilize certified electronic health records (EHRs)” (Conrad, Hanson, Hansenau, & Stocker-Schneider, 2012, p. 443). In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) instituted Meaningful Use (MU) as a form of “incentive programs that governs the use of EHRs and allow eligible providers and hospitals to earn incentive payments by meeting specific criteria” (Yoder-Wise, 2014, p. 195). Consequently, as cited by Berfeld and Parker (2010) “Adoption of computers in care and an electronic medical record (EMR) within healthcare organizations is no longer an option, but a necessity for safe and cost effective provision of care” (p. 17). Through the years, the nursing profession has gone through numerous changes, some were planned, some unplanned. The latest change confronting the profession and the entire healthcare system evolved with the idea that EHRs, as described by Conrad, et al. (2010) Have the potential to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of clinical practice due to their ability to deliver legible and timely access to patient information to multiple users, as well as the ability to provide users with decision support. Unlike paper documentation, use of the EHR allows practitioners to aggregate data, and provides the opportunity to
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