You should be! A recent study published in Journal of Nursing Administration finds that data entry automation improves cost, quality, performance, and job satisfaction.
While this study examined a hospital nursing unit, the findings are applicable to community clinics, where manual input and workflows involving disconnected online systems can create significant inefficiencies. Those inefficiencies eat up time that could be spent on tasks that are more connected to the mission of public health clinics – caring for and improving the health of individuals and their communities.
Feeling More Like a Data Entry Clerk than a Nurse
Unnecessary procedural bottlenecks created by the need to feed data into older EMR systems is one of the roots of “the loss of joy in nursing and is a leading reason why health professionals are burning out and giving up,” according to the study.
But automating data entry facilitated better nursing workflow and productivity, widespread user satisfaction with the new technology, improvement in key job satisfaction parameters, and a decrease in data errors from approximately 20% to 0.
A Good Time to Introduce Data Entry Automation to Community Clinics
Public health clinics ready to shift to an EHR are actually at an advantage to be doing so now, as many current EHRs have resolved most of the kinks that create the sort of challenges the hospital nursing unit above dealt with.
ezEMRx, for example, is a modern EHR designed specifically for public health clinics. It creates significant efficiencies on par with those highlighted in the study by linking up all the systems needed to manage clinic operations: electronic health records, patient portal, environmental health, and practice and inventory management. Information passes between these systems automatically. Staff enter data once, and the system electronically distributes it to all other required fields.
How Vaccine Administration Can Be Faster and More Accurate
Vaccine tracking and inventory functions are one of many areas where data entry automation can streamline procedures and save significant time for nurses and staff.
Because ezEMRx automatically links clinics to all immunization registries, nurses and staff can skip the step of manually transferring data from and to the registries. That means historical information from the registry systematically populates the patient record, allowing nurses to see at a glance that, for example, an infant patient is due for his DTAP or to be alerted that an adult has not had her hepatitis A shot. Once the vaccination is complete, ezEMRx transmits info out to all registries in one click.
A barcode reader eliminates the need to input vaccine serial numbers, eliminating a common source of error. Interoperability between systems means demographic data automatically appears where needed, showing whether a patient is VFC eligible. And VFC batches and lots are automatically documented in the patient record and in the inventory management system. The system also calls attention to vaccinations near or at expiration, to prevent hazard and waste.
Eliminating manual entry tasks, reduces errors, improves job satisfaction and increases efficiencies that can lead to cost savings. In fact, in public health clinics, ezEMRx has been proven to reduce vaccination administration time by 87%.