Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Evidence for Electronic Health Record Systems in Physical Therapy

With increasing pressures to better manage clinical information, we investigated the role of electronic health record (EHR) systems in physical therapist practice through a critical review of the literature. We reviewed studies that met our predefined criteria after independent review by 3 authors. The investigators in all of the reviewed studies reported benefits, including improved reporting, operational efficiency, interdepartmental communication, data accuracy, and capability for future research. In 7 studies, the investigators reported barriers, including challenges with behavior modification, equipment inadequacy, and training. The investigators in all studies reported key success factors, including end-user participation, adequate training,
workflow analysis, and data standardization. This review suggests that EHRs have potential benefits for physical therapists. The authors formed the following recommendations based on the studies’ themes: (1) incorporate workflow analysis into system design and implementation; (2) include end users, especially clinicians, in system development; (3) devote significant resources for training; (4) plan and test carefully to ensure adequate software and hardware performance; and (5) commit to data standards. [Vreeman DJ, Taggard SL, Rhine MD, Worrell TW. Evidence for electronic health record systems in physical therapy. Phys Ther. 2006;86:434–449. Key Words: Computerized medical records systems • Medical informatics • Medical informatics applications • Physical therapy • Physical therapy department: hospital

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