The Impact of the Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) on Hospital Pathology Services: An Organisational Communication Perspective

The Impact of the Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) on Hospital Pathology Services: An Organisational Communication Perspective

Andrew Georgiou (University of New South Wales, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6320-6.ch003
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Abstract

This chapter reviews what is currently known about the effect of the Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) on aspects of laboratory test ordering, their impact on laboratory efficiency, and the contribution this makes to the quality of patient care. The EMR can be defined as a functioning electronic database within a given organisation that contains patient information. Although laboratory services are expected to gain from the introduction of the EMRs, the evidence to date has highlighted many challenges associated with the implementation of EMRs, including their potential to cause major shifts in responsibilities, work processes, and practices. The chapter outlines an organisational communication framework that has been derived from empirical evidence. This framework considers the interplay between communication, temporal, and organisational factors, as a way to help health information technology designers, clinicians, and hospital and laboratory professionals meet the important challenges associated with EMR design, implementation, and sustainability.
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The Impact Of The Emr On Hospital Laboratory Services

Hospital pathology services are widely seen as an area where information and communication technologies (ICT) like the EMR can have a major impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. Pathology laboratories are information-intense bodies that provide services across primary, secondary and tertiary care. It is estimated that pathology laboratory services are responsible for leveraging 60-70% of all critical decision-making involving admittance, discharge and medication (Forsman, 1996). Within this context the EMR has been identified as an important means to:

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