Electronic health records, primarily used to track and store patient data, weren’t developed for care team collaboration. While EHRs play a vital role in patient care, they don’t solve all the collaboration issues at the point of care. EHRs also don’t alleviate communication gaps or barriers of sharing critical information with those who don’t have access to the same EHR.
As systems of record, EHRs can end up costing health organizations massive amounts of wasted time and dollars. EHR expenditures continue even after initial implementation; regular maintenance, upgrades, and staff training are required and can feel repetitive.
Likewise, EHRs require redundant data entry and recordkeeping tasks, taking valuable time away from actively caring for patients. Factors like these can lead to care collaboration and communication gaps, but more importantly, a negative patient experience overall.
The CIO’s Triple Threat Guide to Care Team Communication
Similarly, EHR-based messaging can prove to be cumbersome, consuming most of IT’s budget and failing to scale across the larger health system. These also struggle to support urgent and emergent communication, and most do not offer the feature-rich communication tools that care teams need to collaborate effectively.
Care collaboration and patient engagement solutions are not meant to replace the EHR, but to enhance it. A care collaboration solution bridges EHR gaps by connecting key staff, making patient data actionable, and effectively merging data into a single solution.
Care communication and collaboration solutions complement the EHR by:
By centralizing data and workflows, a care team collaboration platform like TigerConnect can seamlessly blend real-time patient information with robust communication capabilities into one, easy-to-use, mobile-friendly solution.
In addition, this quick access to patient information and care team communication helps staff coordinate care, resolve medical issues, and message the right clinician at the right time.
Applying technology that fills in any EHR gaps lets hospitals accelerate workflows to provide better patient care across the care continuum. By prioritizing efficiency, experience, and outcomes, clinicians can enhance the EHR interface in four key areas.
1. Emergent Use Cases: Critical alerts, response teams, and EMS field communication
Integrating on-call schedules with a care team collaboration solution enables you to reach the right person at the right time.
This is done without having to look up who’s on duty or on call, supporting the complex and fluid nature of patient care settings for better workflows and communication.
2. Episodic Use Cases: Patient-centered, event-focused collaboration
Because clinicians cannot always pause what they’re doing to answer a phone call, efficient care requires the option to communicate asynchronously when it is most convenient.
Secure texting allows clinicians to respond as soon as they are available, reducing stress, desktop dependence, and interruptive phone calls received.
3. Cross-Continuum Use Cases: Coordinating care outside of the hospital’s four walls
Simplifying collaboration across patients, families, and communities through voice, video, or, text helps ease clinician burnout while improving patient outcomes.
The key is accessing the right tool at the right time. Having a range of options allows staff to get the job done effectively and efficiently.
4. Operations Use Cases: Administrative or operational processes
Communication between clinical and non-clinical staff should be seamless. Unfortunately, this is something the EHR doesn’t support.
A feature-rich, integrated, secure messaging platform can significantly enhance collaboration among these teams. Keeping everyone informed, eliminating silos, and improving efficiency can make a world of difference.
Including communication and collaboration in every strategic initiative can ensure team alignment and coordination from the outset, eliminating care communication inefficiencies and collaboration gaps.
Cloud-native solutions and those offering open APIs can lead to easier EHR integrations, lowering wasted IT budget and resources. Through integrations like on-call schedules, nurse call, and critical alerts, workflows are simplified and better outcomes are reached.