The Cerner’s PowerChart is an electronic medical record system (EMR) that aids providers in defining the antimicrobials that are preferred for a specific patient case, which is the main problem that this system resolves. PowerChart is currently ranked as the second-best EMR in the market (Pogue et al., 2014). According to Cerner (n.d.), PowerChart increases efficiency and streamlines workflows, allowing the physicians to review the clinical data of patients faster and from any location. This paper will present a literature review focused on Cerner’s system and address the main issues that it helps resolve.
PowerChart was designed as a system that provides assistance to the providers and addresses the issue of antimicrobials prescriptions to patients. According to Pogue et al. (2014), the goal of PowerChart is to help providers optimize the antimicrobial stewardship program by giving providers the tools for optimization of these programs. Currently, the out-of-the-box functionality of this system is limited are requires the use of third-party additives or the addition of local information technology resources. Pogue et al. (2014), in their paper, describe the successful utilization of Cerner’s system in three large hospitals, which suggests that PowerChart is indeed an effective method for enhancing the antimicrobial efforts of the healthcare providers. Thus, PowerChart was created to facilitate assistance to hospitals and other providers when they assign antimicrobials to their patients.
The goal of the PowerChart system is to ensure that the prescription of the antimicrobials is conducted under supervision to ensure that the exposure of the population to these medications is limited and done only in cases when it is necessary to prescribe such a drug. PowerChart is, therefore, an extension of the criteria-monitored drug system (CDS) that is intended to facilitate an additional verification, and currently, a 2-tier system is applied (Pogue et al., 2014). The first tier of antimicrobials requires infection disease verification, and the second tier needs only the clinical criteria approval. Moreover, CDS systems typically require the physician to choose one reason from the list of potential prescription causes. In general, the CDS systems allow the pharmacist to check whether the provider’s drug prescription and follow up with the providers if additional clarifications are required.
However, the out-of-the-box functionality of the PowerChart system is limited, and third-party vendors offer tools that can help providers improve their EHR PowerChart based systems. For example, Pogue et al. (2014) state that using Cerner’s system alone for audit and feedback purposes, for instance, when there is a mismatch between the type of organism and an antimicrobial or if there is a prescription of a broad-spectrum antibiotic in cases when a targeted drug can be used. Pogue et al. (2014) note that Cerner’s system can still be used for the initial identification of patients who require intervention, in combination with tools such as InfoView reports.
One useful utility offered by Cerner’s PowerChart is the mPages, which is based on the information system of the provider. As Pogue et al. (2014) note, the mPages contain information about the patients, such as their health records and other data, which facilitates the process of initial patient identification. Therefore, when linked with the hospital’s information system resources, Cerner’s PowerChart can address all the provider’s antimicrobial needs and resolve the issue of identifying appropriate patient cases and medications designated for these cases.
Another healthcare system issue is the ordering of duplicate tests and unnecessary laboratory screenings of patients due to the unavailability of the cross-checking of the information for the different HER systems of the hospitals. According to Westbrook et al. (2006), “Cerner Millennium PowerChart (version 7.8) POE system which allows clinicians to electronically order, verify and review pathology orders” (p. 534). POE systems, in general, are designed to facilitate the process of pathology order entry and enhance the efficiency and accuracy of the physicians’ work. Thus, another issue that Cerner’s system helps resolve is the duplicate tests, and the ordering of unnecessary tests that are a result of the insufficiencies of the hospital’s HER systems. Westbrook et al. (2006) tested the efficiency of Cerner’s PowerChart system and reported that the use of electronic tools reduced the time required to order the tests since the physicians can fill out the forms faster when compared to the use of paper resources. Hence, this system also effectively resolves the issue of laboratory tests efficiency due to the availability of online order forms and the ability to review the tests’ results as soon as they become available.
In summary, this paper addresses the question of the PowerChart system, which is an EHR tool designed for providers to assist them in the process of assigning antimicrobial medications to their patients. Based on the literature review, one can conclude that PowerChart allows to eliminate the issue of two-tier verification for the antimicrobials prescription and therefore lessen the potential danger for the patients who are assigned with antimicrobials. Additionally, since PowerChart offers access to patient data and laboratory tests order forms, this system can be used to enhance the process of laboratory screenings.
Cerner. (n.d.). PowerChart Touch. Web.
Pogue, J., Potoski, B., Postelnick, M., Mynatt, R., Trupiano, D., Eschenauer, G., & Kaye, K. (2014). Bringing the “power” to Cerner’s PowerChart for antimicrobial stewardship. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 59(3), 416-424.
Westbrook, J., Georgiou, A., Dimos, A., & Germanos, T. (2006). Computerised pathology test order entry reduces laboratory turnaround times and influences tests ordered by hospital clinicians: A controlled before and after study. Journal of Clinical Pathology, 59(5), 533-536.