Creating a foundation for implementing an electronic health records (EHR)-integrated Social Knowledge Networking (SKN) system on medication reconciliation

Rangachari P., Dellsperger K.C., Fallaw D., Davis I., Sumner M., Ray W., Fiedler S., Nguyen T., Rethemeyer R.


Background: In fall 2016, Augusta University received a two-year grant from AHRQ, to implement a Social Knowledge Networking (SKN) system for enabling its health system, AU-Health, to progress from “limited use” of electronic health records (EHR) Medication Reconciliation (MedRec) Technology, to “meaningful use”. Phase 1 sought to identify a comprehensive set of issues related to EHR MedRec encountered by practitioners at AU-Health. These efforts helped develop a Reporting Tool, which, along with a Discussion Tool, was incorporated into the AU-Health EHR, at the end of Phase 1. Phase 2 (currently underway), comprises a 52-week pilot of the EHR-integrated SKN system in outpatient and inpatient medicine units. The purpose of this paper is to describe the methods and results of Phase 1.
Methods: Phase 1 utilized an exploratory mixed-method approach, involving two rounds of data collection. This included 15 individual interviews followed by a survey of 200 practitioners, i.e., physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, based in the outpatient and inpatient medicine service at AU Health.
Results: Thematic analysis of interviews identified 55 issue-items related to EHR MedRec under 9 issue-categories. The survey sought practitioners’ importance-rating of all issue-items identified from interviews. A total of 127 (63%) survey responses were received. Factor analysis served to validate the following 6 of the 9 issue-categories, all of which, were rated “Important” or higher (on average), by over 70% of all respondents: 1) Care-Coordination (CCI); 2) Patient-Education (PEI); 3) Ownership-and-Accountability (OAI); 4) Processes-of-Care (PCI); 5) IT-Related (ITRI); and 6)Workforce-Training (WTI). Significance-testing of importance-rating by professional affiliation revealed no statistically significant differences for CCI and PEI; and some statistically significant differences for OAI, PCI, ITRI, and WTI.
Conclusions: There were two key gleanings from the issues related to EHR MedRec unearthed by this study: 1) there was an absence of shared understanding among practitioners, of the value of EHR MedRec in promoting patient safety, which contributed to workarounds, and suboptimal use of the EHR MedRec system; and 2) there was a socio-technical dimension to many of the issues, creating an added layer of complexity. These gleanings in turn, provide insights into best practices for managing both clinical transitions-of-care in the EHR MedRec process; and socio-technical challenges encountered in EHR MedRec implementation.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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