254794 EHRs and accreditation: A dynamic duo for public health

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 8:50 AM - 9:10 AM

Karen S. Martin, RN, MSN, FAAN , Martin Associates, Omaha, NE
Karen A. Monsen, RN, PhD, FAAN , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Judith G. Riemer, RN, CNS, MS , Nursing Consultant, Riverside, CA
Kathryn H. Bowles, RN, PhD, FAAN , School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Background and Issues: Public health departments should not say “if” they plan to adopt electronic health records (EHRs) and apply for accreditation, but “when” they will proceed. Since 2004, two US presidents issued executive orders that all health care providers will adopt EHRs; 2014 is currently identified as the adoption deadline. The Public Health Accreditation Board was incorporated in 2007, and expects to accredit the first health departments in 2012. Description: Implementation of meaningful EHRs and meeting accreditation standards are two processes that share three fundamental similarities. First is a focus on evidenced-based practice. Accreditation focuses on public health nurses and all staff providing high quality care based on research/best practices. If health departments adopt EHRs based on a standardized terminology such as the Omaha System, they can effectively track quality of care. Second is a focus on quantified documentation. EHRs and accreditation standards are intended to help health departments generate measurable data about services, staff, and programs that can be compared across states and nationally. Third is a focus on commitment. Extensive work is required to successfully adopt EHRs and to apply for and maintain accreditation. Health department teamwork is needed during the initial, implementation, and maintenance phases for both. Lessons Learned: This session will describe the accreditation and EHR experiences of two health departments, emphasizing steps to increase success. Recommendations: Public health nurses, managers, and directors must become well informed about the benefits, power, and best approaches to EHR adoption and accreditation.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Communication and informatics
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe present and future drivers for EHRs and accreditation. 2.List at least 3 ways that EHRs and accreditation are similar. 3.Discuss the steps that public health nurses, managers, and directors can take to increase success with EHRs and accreditation.

Keywords: Public Health Nursing, Health Care Quality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I served as the director of research for 16 years while the Omaha System was developed and refined. During that time and the next 18 years, I have continued to be involved with EHRs, participate in research, write for publication, provide consultation, and speak about practice, documentation, and informatics.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
People from numerous organizations People attended Omaha System Basic Workshops and purchased Omaha System books Author of the 2005 Omaha System book published by Health Connections Press., Consultant and Speaker's bureau and teaching engagements

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.