By Mandi Enger
With a focus on classroom technology that translates into highly sought-after career skills, Nevada State College (NSC) will have the Electronic Health Record (EHR) training software, Neehr Perfect, fully integrated into its nursing curriculum by fall 2012. Initially introduced into the regular track nursing program in late 2010, the software used on tablet computers and netbooks has expanded into the accelerated track program and is currently in use by approximately 50 students.
It’s been a quick process for our faculty and students to become accustomed to working with Neehr Perfect during lectures as well as during clinical, said Cheryl Darby-Carlberg, a lecturer in the School of Nursing. We’re proud to have the final track of part-time students begin working with the program this fall.
In 2010, the Neehr Perfect software license was obtained by School of Nursing Dean, Shirlee Snyder through a federal grant.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 calls for healthcare providers to adopt the use of electronic health records by 2015 and the medical field is quickly adapting, said Dean Snyder. It’s important for our BSN graduates to be well versed in this new technology as they enter the workforce.
Medical facilities adopting certified EHR before the 2015 deadline will be eligible for incentive rewards through Medicare. After 2015, providers continuing to use paper charts will be penalized with a 1% reduction in Medicare payments.
Nearly 60% of health care facilities have already made the transition to the electronic records, continued Snyder. NSC nursing graduates will be ready as this figure will only increase.
EHRs are designed to build a more seamless and error-free system of patient care. The electronic programs assist providers in organizing a patient’s care, from establishing their medical history to storing their current prescriptions and doctors’ orders. In a hospital setting, the software is also programmed to alert care providers of possible errors such as past-due lab results or possible prescription dosage concerns. The use of electronic records additionally improves the speed and reliability of transferring health information from provider to provider.
While EHR programs can vary by facility, the NEHR Perfect system used by NSC has been modeled after the Veterans Administration EHR system as it is the benchmark for certified systems.
Nursing students utilizing the training software at NSC practice electronic charting during clinical work, access case study trainings and take exams tailored specifically to the NSC nursing curriculum. During exercises in both case study settings and work at partnering hospitals, students learn what patient information is required by the charting system, how to input the data, how to highlight areas of concern for doctors, and how to respond to doctors’ orders.
The Neehr Perfect software is user friendly, and it’s very helpful to document on a system similar to those in the hospitals, stated Kathleen York, a current NSC nursing student. The program has given me a better understanding of a hospital workflow and the skills necessary to effectively manage patient care.
Student work completed in the Neehr Perfect program is submitted to NSC faculty for review and feedback. Upon graduation, a portfolio comprised of a student’s best work can additionally be shared during a job interview process to showcase their skill and understanding of EHRs.
Neehr Perfect truly engages our students through hands-on experience that translates into career skills, finished Darby-Carlberg. NSC is always looking for ways to be innovative with curriculum and Neehr Perfect has helped us do just that.