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Implementing a Social Knowledge Networking (SKN) system to enable meaningful use of an EHR medication reconciliation system

Authors Rangachari P

Received 22 September 2017

Accepted for publication 1 March 2018

Published 26 March 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 45—53

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S152313

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Kent Rondeau

Pavani Rangachari

College of Allied Health Sciences, Augusta University, Georgia, GA, USA


Background: Despite the regulatory impetus toward meaningful use of electronic health record (EHR) Medication Reconciliation (MedRec) to prevent medication errors during care transitions, hospital adherence has lagged for one chief reason: low physician engagement, stemming from lack of consensus about which physician is responsible for managing a patient’s medication list. In October 2016, Augusta University received a 2-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to implement a Social Knowledge Networking (SKN) system for enabling its health system (AU Health) to progress from “limited use” of EHR MedRec technology to “meaningful use.” The hypothesis is that SKN would bring together a diverse group of practitioners, to facilitate tacit knowledge exchange on issues related to EHR MedRec, which in turn is expected to increase practitioners’ engagement in addressing those issues and enable meaningful use of EHR. The specific aims are to examine: 1) user-engagement in the SKN system, and 2) associations between “SKN use” and “meaningful use” of EHR.
Methods: The 2-year project uses an exploratory mixed-method design and consists of three phases: 1) development; 2) SKN implementation; and 3) analysis. Phase 1, completed in May 2017, sought to identify a comprehensive set of issues related to EHR MedRec from practitioners directly involved in the MedRec process. This process facilitated development of a “Reporting Tool” on issues related to EHR MedRec, which, along with an existing “SKN/Discussion Tool,” was integrated into the EHR at AU Health. Phase 2 (launched in June 2017) involves implementing the EHR-integrated SKN system over a 52-week period in inpatient and outpatient medicine units.
Discussion: The prospective implementation design is expected to generate context-sensitive strategies for meaningful use and successful implementation of EHR MedRec and thereby make substantial contributions to the patient safety and risk management literature. From a health care policy perspective, if the hypothesis holds, federal vendors could be encouraged to incorporate SKN features into EHR systems.

Keywords: electronic health records, medication reconciliation, meaningful use, Social Knowledge Networks, health IT implementation, patient safety, risk management

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