Healthcare has come a long way, but advancements like electronic health records (EHR) are limited in functionality. EHRs were designed as a record-keeping source for patient information and billing purposes. They cannot serve as an adequate communication platform for healthcare professionals. Communicating via the EHR is disruptive, slows down workflows, and is dangerous. Doctors, nurses, and other care team members need a better way to collaborate on patient care.
EHRs were intended to store patient records, which means they are not designed to connect all members of a healthcare ecosystem. Their sole purpose has been to track and store data which, though helpful, leaves a lot to be desired. Integrating your EHR with a clinical communication and collaboration platform can fill communication gaps and speed care decisions in various clinical settings.
Modern Healthcare Organizations Need Modern Communication
When looking to improve clinical collaboration, the first step for any health organization is to examine what gaps exist within the EHR. First, most EHRs cannot always communicate with different systems making communication between two separate facilities difficult. Second, regarding internal communication, EHRs are either closed or non-inclusive, meaning some care team members may not have access, and the EHR may not connect easily with nurse calls, physiological monitors, and other systems.
Having some team members on one system and the rest on another can divide an organization, leading to slower and more complicated clinical workflows.
Finally, EHRs cannot maintain secure messaging during cyberattacks and outages. EHR downtime is not just inconvenient for care teams, it also poses a risk for patient care when patient records are unavailable. In contrast, modern clinical communication and collaboration platforms sit outside the EHR and are not impacted during these events, when communication matters the most.
Care teams need an easy-to-use, mobile solution that bridges EHR gaps and keeps all providers connected. EHR-embedded messaging lacks this functionality and is not optimized for intelligent alerts and alarms that help to accelerate care delivery. Advanced clinical communication and collaboration platforms integrate with EHRs to deliver alerts for labs and images, providing the context necessary for care coordination.
In emergent cases, when critical labs need to be sent to a specialist, role-based messaging is the speedy answer to reaching the right person at the right time. With this feature, providers can be reached by role, eliminating the need for searching through a directory, phone tag, and calls to the operator.
Communication should be simple for all care team members, including patient families and non-clinical staff. This means having multiple communication options, including secure messaging, voice, and video to keep everyone in the loop. Healthcare executives must consider the benefit of integrating EHRs with a CC&C platform. A CC&C platform like the TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform – Pro complements the EHR, improving communication, reliability, and access to patient data which helps improve the speed and efficiency of clinical workflows.
Integrating EHRs with a robust clinical communication and collaboration platform allows healthcare organizations to make communication more expedient and efficient.Download the CIO Guide to Modernizing Healthcare Communication to learn more about the additional benefits of a CC&C platform.