Background: Hospitalized patients routinely require a form of vascular access, as do an increasing number of patients receiving care in community settings. Ensuring that the best quality of care is delivered to those requiring vascular access is a difficult task to achieve because multiple care providers initiate, assess, and access these devices. Electronic health records (EHRs) are a tool that may be used to aid clinicians in achieving best practices at the point of care and throughout an organization.
Methods: We describe how EHR technology can be used to support quality improvement initiatives in vascular access practice and its related research and explore the importance and value of embedding vascular access requirements within EHR technology.
Results: EHRs may be a valuable tool for supporting quality improvement efforts in the field of vascular access. Requirements of the clinical specialty such as clinical documentation, reminders and alerts, computerized provider order entry, electronic medication administration, and data extraction can be built into the existing functions of EHRs.
Conclusions: Clinicians practicing in this specialty area should consider working with their clinical informatics and information technology departments to identify opportunities within their organizations to improve how the technology can be leveraged to support vascular access care.