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Communication Silos: What Clinicians Need to Know About EHRs
Communication Silos: What Clinicians Need to Know About EHRs
An electronic hospital record (EHR) has many benefits as it allows providers to keep track of a patient’s clinical data in one place by logging medication records, vital signs, immunizations, and more. ￼However, when these systems are unable to operate, they can wreak havoc on medical organizations. Following a Freedom of Information Act request, it was discovered that the EHR system implemented by the Department of Veterans Affairs had 930 hours of “incomplete functionality,” with another 40 hours of complete outage from Sept. 8, 2020, to June 10, 2022. These operational complications created national slowdowns inhibiting services, infuriating providers and patients, and highlighting the necessity for a communication platform that is housed outside of the EHR.
EHRs are powerful tools that allow healthcare providers to access the information they need. However, without the right technological solutions in place, even within a single organization, data can become siloed and difficult to share between departments and with other healthcare providers. This is because EHRs are designed to serve as documentation systems rather than communication tools. That’s why effective digital communications and data exchange technologies must be implemented for organizations to leverage EHRs to their fullest potential. Doing so will help create more efficient workflows within the provider’s office and expand access to critical patient data across the care continuum.
So, how can care teams use EHRs to benefit themselves and the patient while limiting communication barriers? By using proper technology, EHRs have the potential to strengthen the relationship between a provider, care team and patient by eliminating data silos in healthcare.
EHRs may not be able to seamlessly share patient information with other organizations, such as referral hospitals or public health departments, creating silos of information that are difficult to access in an emergency. With the TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform, healthcare organizations can finally break free of information silos created by outdated EHRs and solve interoperability issues by reducing overhead, maximizing value from existing systems, and applying technology to improve accuracy and patient satisfaction. All of this enables caregivers to focus on providing high-quality care.
An EHR Integrated Collaboration Platform Drives a Wide Range of Outcomes
Too often, healthcare IT buyers are coerced into replacing their existing communication software with EHR-provided chat tools that offer merely a band-aid through short-term gains. Eventually, these EHR tools prove inoperable without a comprehensive collaboration platform to fill in the gaps they alone can’t fix. When faced with EHR-enabled tools as the only resource, many care teams end up experiencing limited communication capabilities, higher costs, decreased staff morale, and are more prone to medical errors. Since breakdowns in communication play a role in more than 70% of sentinel events, limiting the possibility of these long-term consequences is critical. Through role-based messaging, TigerConnect helps bridge the gap within existing systems by offering role-based messaging, automated on-call physician scheduling, and secure, cloud-based storage and encrypted communication.
Improved Care Delivery for Providers
EHRs often face wide criticism – losing the battle against complaints of complexity and usability issues. But let’s not forget they are also essential tools for smoother, more efficient clinical workflows. That’s why it’s so important to enhance their features through integration with a clinical communication platform like TigerConnect, which allows healthcare teams to collaborate on patient care without disruptions. TigerConnect deploys a myriad of capabilities and benefits to improve care delivery for providers through increased efficiency, reduced overhead costs, streamlined care team collaboration, and enhanced security to safeguard protected health information (PHI). How does TigerConnect accomplish this?
The platform optimizes and speeds up care decisions, but perhaps even more crucially ensures that existing EHRs can highlight and share information securely when working with external organizations like referral hospitals or public health departments – closing those frustrating and potentially dangerous silos of isolated data that impact patient care. This is how TigerConnect works to provide providers with better care delivery and steadily reduce costs related to paperwork and administrative overhead.
Leveraging the TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform allows care teams to experience connected workflows, improved communication, and greater efficiency. In addition, the platform enables providers to do the following:
- Carve out overhead that EHRs and other health IT have created that impede care delivery
- Provide innovative, cost-effective ways to evolve and get maximum value from the systems and technologies that are already in place
- Reduce inefficiencies and inaccuracies by removing the barriers between doctors and their patients
With healthcare facilities striving to improve the patient experience while still containing healthcare costs, it can be difficult to get the digital resources needed to stay competitive. TigerConnect is here to help. Our technology helps streamline communication among all your internal care teams, maximizing their effectiveness and operational efficiency.
Take a few moments and learn how a dedicated CC&C platform incorporating our revolutionary software can reduce administrative costs and speed up care delivery. With the help of our “Unify Your Clinical Communication” eBook, you can find all sorts of effective ways that TigerConnect technology enables faster mobilization of care teams.
Cheryl McKay, PhD, RN, Nurse Executive Accountable Care
Dr. Cheryl McKay is a healthcare leader with over 20 years of executive experience in directing quality care for large academic facilities, smaller multi-site inpatient and outpatient centers, as well as research, quality, education, and clinical divisions. As a critical care clinical specialist, nurse executive, and researcher, she has a broad range of experience in helping clients successfully manage technology implementation and advancement, product development, marketing, and sales.
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