In Learning Activity 1, you dealt with an ethical dilemma caused by your physicians' refusal to correct

In Learning Activity 1, you dealt with an ethical dilemma caused by your physicians’ refusal to correct their own errors due to resistance to your facility’s new Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system. In this assignment, you’ll consider this case from the perspective of an administrator. You’ve just spend a lot of money on your new EMR System. Although the purchase and use of the system is in compliance with new federal requirements and will ultimately help improve continuity of care for patients, some physicians refuse to use the new system. They complain that the new system slows them down and is creating errors in documenting procedures. They insist that their old charting methods have always been adequate. The quality assurance department reports to the VP of Operations that several nurses and student-nurses have observed an increase in the number of physician documentation errors in patients’ medical records. Several physicians field a grievance against the hospital. They claim the hospital is engaging in unethical behavior by forcing clinicians to use the new EMR system. Address the following points in a 2-page response paper: • How is technology changing the ethical issues the healthcare administrator must face? • Discuss the challenges of balancing ethical principles, quality control, fiscal (monetary) concerns, and the organizational mission. • Describe the position of the doctors in this scenario in ethical terms. The physicians argue the hospital is acting unethically. Upon what ethical bases do they claim this? • Generate a solution to this conflict. Support your solution with ethical concepts. How can you argue that the hospital is acting in the best interests of the patients, staff, and medical community? Your paper should be formatted in APA style, including a references list.

Expert Answer

Technology is significantly changing the ethical issues that healthcare administrators face. The administrators function with an objective to improve patient care through technology. The aim of EMR is to enable hospitals and physicians to smoothly share various details about a patient. Now it is the onus of the administrators to ensure the effective implementation of EMR. The ethical issue in front of the administrators is to continue using the EMR while the number of errors is increasing (and thus decreasing the continuity of care for patients) on one hand and allowing physicians to continue using their own charting methods and thus compromise with the quality of care by shunning the use of technology.

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Administrators face the tough task of balancing ethical principles, quality control, fiscal (monetary) concerns, and the organizational mission. Quality control will require the administrators to seamlessly introduce the use of EMR and minimize the number of errors. Each hospital has a budget in place for the introduction of use of EMR and the administrators have to work within the budget to maximize the value for the hospital. Administrators also have to perform the task of aligning accountability relationships and ensuring that patient information is safe and secure. All this must be done keeping in mind the need to improve the continuity of care for patients.

The doctors and physicians are also in an ethical quandary. They want to provide the required medical help and support to their patients to ensure their speedy recovery. Even though they want to adapt to new technologies and processes that will help them become more efficient and effective, the use of EMR is not only slowing them down but also resulting in far more errors in documenting procedures than desired.

The ethical base upon which the doctors claim that he hospital is acting unethically is the area of ‘helping others’. The doctors and physicians have the sole objective of helping their patients. Even though the use of EMR is not akin to destructive behavior, it is preventing the physicians from helping others in the most effective manner.

The hospital is acting in the best interest of the patients, staff, and medical community as it simply wants to increase the quality of health care by using technology to make the operations and system more efficient and more agile.


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