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by Pamela White
Published on May 12, 2019

As we celebrate Nurses Week, it has been an opportunity for many of us to remember the first day we were required to document the care of our patients on an electronic health record (EHR).

For many years of our nursing careers, nurses documented in great detail in SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment and plan) notes and handwritten plans of care compiled in heavy file folders. Transitioning our established practice to the EHR was not always a comfortable experience. After many growing pains, nurses have now adapted and found value in its use. As the discipline of nursing expanded its scope and responsibilities, the EHR capabilities grew to support this growth. Now, nurses are graduating into a health care environment where the EHR is more often the standard and progressing in their practice involves them becoming super users and technology leaders. Contributing in a meaningful and valuable way to the design of the EHR, nurses have made significant impacts in providing increased patient safety, driving best practices, as well as improving the patient experience. With nursing being hands-on in the implementation process, they have contributed in a very meaningful way to deliver high-quality care for patients, which in many cases has resulted in lower cost of care delivery advancing the practice toward meeting the Quadruple Aim of Health Care.

Health care is branching off into new and innovative technologies, telehealth, artificial intelligence, robotics, interoperability and big data to name a few. This has increased third parties in the delivery of care. Patient-centered care must remain the focus with these new approaches to care delivery and new technological advancements. Teaming technology with clinician care can significantly boost the effectiveness of their delivery, keeping the human factor and personalization in the delivery of health and care.

The innovations and workflow enhancements that Cerner has embraced over the continuum of my Cerner career have been impressive. They have enabled nurses globally to ensure they are able to focus on patient safety and the highest standards of care. With flawless integration of technology and patient-centric workflows, nurses have been given back their time from documentation to return to the beside and their patients. They are given the gift of being able to nurture the mind, body and spirit of the patient - the reason for their calling to this noble profession of nursing.