Pediatric patients need to be treated by healthcare practitioners differently than adults. It has come to the attention of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that electronic medical records (EMRs), which promote clinical archiving and universal viewing of clinical images, are not necessarily addressing the unique needs of child patients. The federal technology agency released a document to address these issues.
Using EMRs can ultimately improve the interoperability throughout a healthcare network or health information exchange. The report recommends the use of EMRs when dealing with pediatric patients and suggests that healthcare professionals don't skimp on case details, according to the Becker's Hospital Review. For instance, the NIST proposes that providers refrain from shortening or abbreviating medications, data units and vaccinations. In addition, using notations that are specific to infants and children, such as "fussy" or "six-week preemie", may give providers more detailed information when reviewing patient information, according to Becker's Hospital Review. Such details are often unclear in paper charts, which is why the NIST proposes getting rid of them in medical practices.
Children in need of medical care are identified as high-risk and high-priority for patient safety. They often have unique physical characteristics, issues with development and may have complicated parental custody situations. Moreover, there is a variety of age brackets, which include prenatal, infant, preschool child, school-aged, adolescent and young adult, all of which have different requirements for care. All of these factors need to be taken into consideration in pediatric care settings.
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