Role of Social Knowledge Networking technology in facilitating meaningful use of Electronic Health Record medication reconciliation

Pavani Rangachari


Despite the federal policy impetus towards Electronic Health Record (EHR) medication reconciliation, hospital adherence has lagged for one chief reason; low physician engagement, which in turn emanates from lack of consensus in regard to which physician is responsible for managing a patient’s medication list, and the importance of medication reconciliation as a tool for improving patient safety and quality of care. The Technology-in-Practice (TIP) framework stresses the role of human action in enacting structures of technology use or “technologies-in-practice”. Applying the TIP framework to the EHR medication reconciliation context, helps frame the problem as one of low physician engagement in performing EHR medication reconciliation, translating to limited-use-EHR-in-practice. Concurrently, the problem suggests a hierarchical network structure, reflecting limited communication among hospital administrators and clinical providers on the importance of EHR medication reconciliation in improving patient safety. Integrating the TIP literature with the more recent knowledge-in-Practice (KIP) literature suggests that EHR-in-practice could be transformed from “limited use” to “meaningful use” through the use of Social Knowledge Networking (SKN) technology to create new social network structures, and enable engagement, learning, and practice change. Correspondingly, the objectives of this paper are to: (1) Conduct a narrative review of the literature on “technology use”, to understand how technologies-in-practice may be transformed from limited use to meaningful use; (2) Conduct a narrative review of the literature on “organizational change implementation” to understand how changes in technology use could be successfully implemented and sustained in a healthcare organizational context; and (3) Apply lessons learned from the narrative literature reviews to identify strategies for the meaningful use and successful implementation of EHR medication reconciliation technology.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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