One of the most recent findings in the area of the utilization of EHRs in care provision is that they might serve as both diagnostic and preventive tools irrespective of the condition that affects patients. As McGonigle and Mastrian (2017) suggest, the majority of health conditions in patients may be addressed with the help of EHRs, as there are specific indicators that might predict the development of an illness or another condition. The current annotated bibliography discusses the effects of EHRs on diabetes care while also pointing out the key areas where patient-provider interactions with technology create additional opportunities for every stakeholder to benefit from the digitalization of care. Decision support makes EHRs a perfect addition to the current list of technologies utilized by care providers, so it may be crucial to evaluate the existing expertise and make sure that health systems based on information technology would be improved even further to facilitate diabetes care and prevention.
Corser, W., & Yuan, S. (2016). Mixed influence of electronic health record implementation on diabetes order patterns for Michigan Medicaid Adults. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 10(2), 429-434.
One of the key findings presented by Corser and Yuan (2016) is that the presence of EHRs in care settings is one of the most appropriate ways to help the most vulnerable beneficiaries to gain access to services that might improve their health condition. The researchers acknowledged that the majority of EHR functionalities had not been investigated to the fullest just yet. There is a considerable amount of evidence proving that patients with diabetes could benefit from receiving care at facilities where EHRs have been implemented, and all employees have specific training allowing them to provide care with the help of digital instruments (Corser & Yuan, 2016). There is still a lot of work to be done if care providers are willing to cope with diabetes more effectively, but the key idea is that the majority of patients should not be reluctant to receive services that step away from the conventional strategies. With all tiers of patients being exposed to the risk of getting diabetes, a fully-fledged EHR becomes one of the unique tools intended to prevent adverse patient outcomes and contribute to a collaborative working environment. Corser and Yuan’s (2016) are relevant and provide enough evidence to consider EHR implementation across all facilities where the level of diabetes care quality is below average.
Herrin, J., da Graca, B., Aponte, P., Stanek, H. G., Cowling, T., Fullerton, C.,… & Ballard, D. J. (2015). Impact of an EHR-based diabetes management form on quality and outcomes of diabetes care in primary care practices. American Journal of Medical Quality, 30(1), 14-22.
Herrin et al. (2015) completed an observational study that allowed them to investigate patient attitudes toward the utilization of EHR instruments. They found that the standards of optimal care could be much easier to meet with the help of digital assistants that could predict certain conditions in patients. Herrin et al.’s (2015) analysis showed that patients with diabetes were more often exposed to adverse health outcomes than other patients due to the strong impact of chronic conditions that increased the number of physician visits per annum. The researchers explained the need for implementing EHRs when treating patients with diabetes by stating that clinical decision-making support might reduce the percentage of human errors and remove subjectivity from the majority of clinical processes (Herrin et al., 2015). With digital predictions, care providers might be able to propose lifestyle changes intended to protect the patient. Even self-management could be possible under the condition where EHRs are appropriately utilized, and nurses pull relevant information from the database to share it with the given patient. Accordingly, patients with diabetes could receive more essential prescriptions and communicate with their care providers in real-time using other digital tools that support EHRs as well.
Mundt, M. P., & Zakletskaia, L. I. (2018). Putting the pieces together: EHR communication and diabetes patient outcomes. The American Journal of Managed Care, 24(10), 462-468.
The study conducted by Mundt and Zakletskaia (2018) focused on the benefits of EHRs and dwelled on the digital communication between care providers and patients with diabetes. As a longitudinal observational study, this research became an in-depth analysis of how the dialog flows between different care provision stakeholders. It was found that the presence of EHRs and their implementation allowed practitioners to provide patients with relevant evidence and adjust the care environment to the needs of any particular patient (Mundt & Zakletskaia, 2018). Further analysis of the article makes it evident that EHRs could reduce the cost, time, and the number of hospital stays for patients with diabetes. The further impact of EHRs may also be linked to the growing interconnectedness and a reduced quantity of face-to-face interactions. Despite the fact that the cost of facility maintenance would increase drastically after the implementation of EHRs, Mundt and Zakletskaia (2018) still suggested siding with technology and increasing the level of digitalization of the given care environment. Nevertheless, the unstable impact of indirect communication should be investigated further in order to prevent EHRs from causing any damage to patient outcomes on a long-term scale.
Senteio, C., Veinot, T., Adler-Milstein, J., & Richardson, C. (2018). Physicians’ perceptions of the impact of the EHR on the collection and retrieval of psychosocial information in outpatient diabetes care. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 113, 9-16.
The article written by Senteio et al. (2018) is one of the few research projects where EHRs are presented as an actual disadvantage due to the lack of proper interaction between the patient and provider throughout the communication process. This outlook on patients with diabetes and their relationship with digital tools and care providers is essential because it offers another point of view on care recommendations and procedures. Senteio et al. (2018) claimed that the patients’ psychosocial conditions could worsen due to the lack of face-to-face interactions, as the patients’ stories and personal information would not be perceived correctly by the care provision team. The growing misunderstanding between stakeholders would most likely develop additional barriers on the way to positive patient outcomes because specific patterns in the health conditions of patients with diabetes might require an in-depth interpretation instead of mere textual information being included in the database (Senteio et al., 2018). In turn, patients might become less interested in self-care, aggravating their own condition and making it harder for care providers to come up with the most appropriate treatment plan. Even though the process of collecting patient-related data is rather time-consuming, it should not be overlooked in favor of EHRs.
Overall, based on the evidence reviewed within the current annotated bibliography, it may be concluded that there are certain flaws that still avert EHRs from being the perfect choice for care providers, but the bigger picture shows that there are more benefits than disadvantages that have to be considered. For patients with diabetes, EHRs may be a support program and an empowerment tool, which allows them to track health conditions individually and communicate with care providers when necessary. The evidence also suggests that primary and secondary conditions will be harder to cope with in a situation where there are no digital tools to support clinical decision-making and treatment planning procedures. Such findings are critical for both the field of care provision and patient outcomes because positive changes may only be possible in the case where the team removes the high occurrence of human error and puts more emphasis on the digitalization of care.