Putting the Patient First – EHR Integration

Putting the Patient First - EHR Integration

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are central to putting the patient first. A good EHR system gives physicians, and nurses access to the accurate, up-to-date, and complete information they need to provide expert healthcare.

One issue with using EHRs is integrating them with the sheer amount of information flowing into and out of the central medical record. Every diagnostic or lab test result, treatment plan, piece of medical history, chart update, image, communication, or consultation result needs to be properly logged and recorded, so it’s instantly retrievable and understandable.

You can see the problem here — the vast number of systems, applications, people, and third parties that integrate with EHR services exponentially increases complexity. With so much information being exchanged, it’s easy to lose sight of the person at the center of this data deluge — the patient.

We need to step back and ask, “How can we design EHR systems and service integrations that put the patient first?”

At TigerConnect, we believe it’s a case of balancing four areas — patient, technology, staff, and communications.

Prioritizing the Patient throughout EHR Integration
This sounds obvious, but it’s surprisingly easy to overlook. Every decision about EHR system design and integration should put patient needs front and center.

  • Ensure complete privacy, protection, and security of medical data.
  • Provide a consistent, compliant approach for all systems users to enter data in a uniform, patient-centered way.
  • Allow EHRs to easily “travel” with the patient, making them accessible wherever the patient seeks treatment.
  • Build the principles of “value-based care” into EHR integrations and system selections.
  • Regularly audit EHR integrations and data for patient outcomes and use those findings to make system improvements.

Select the Right EHR Integration Services Technology
There are dozens of EHR systems and thousands of ways for them to integrate with all the other interdependent technologies you use. As you transform into a Real-Time Health System and focus on value-based care, your technology must keep up.

  • Audit the various systems, interfaces, and integrations that your EHR and interdependent systems use to capture, update, and transmit data.
  • Measure the accuracy and speed of medical information updates and ensure that data is presented in an easily understandable, actionable way.
  • Create reporting and thresholds to identify issues with the quality, accuracy, and speed of data so you can take action.

Train Staff in Proper EHR Use
Technology is only part of the puzzle. Your physicians, nurses, other care providers, and third parties all need to input, update, and retrieve information in a consistent way.

  • Create guidelines, policies, and processes for entering and updating EHR information in an accurate and timely fashion.
  • Provide comprehensive training for everyone involved in managing EHR information.
  • Review EHR data regularly to ensure that your staff is meeting quality guidelines.
  • Carry out coaching and additional training for any identified gaps or issues.
  • Review EHR interfaces to make it as easy as possible for people to enter any required information.

Get a Comprehensive Clinical Communication and Collaboration System in Place
Communications and collaboration are essential to patient-centered care. Unfortunately, EHR systems are not designed for quick, easy, actionable communication. You need a comprehensive, secure Clinical Communication and Collaboration (CC&C) system like TigerConnect that fully-integrates with and works alongside your EHR. It will revolutionize your healthcare communications.

  • Enhance care team effectiveness by granting access to EHRs and third-party systems across multiple departments and devices.
  • Easily share patient information to reduce response times, allow rapid diagnosis and treatment, and improve quality of care.
  • Reduce medical errors and ensure continuity of care during handoffs or transfers.
  • Turn your EHR into a system of action, rather than a system of record.

Bring these four areas together and one thing is certain — you will be putting the patient first. A properly-integrated EHR service, centered on the patient and using the right technology with properly trained staff, supported by a powerful communications platform will transform healthcare service provision.

To learn more about TigerConnect and our integration solutions, visit our website.

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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