Part II

We’re living in the golden age of technology. From connected homes, to smart phones to autopilot cars, it’s everywhere. Almost every industry has adopted modern technology in some form or another, including healthcare. But when it comes to health records, is your organization set up for success?

Care networks across the country are continuously working towards, if not already utilizing, technology to connect and create interoperability between facilities. It’s so important to have the right tools in place to make sure that individuals you serve are seamlessly, and electronically, transitioning between care providers and facilities, coordinating the right level of care in order to produce the best outcomes while reducing costs.

You may be thinking, “How does my organization get started with this interoperability business?” Getting connected digitally is first on the list. Electronic sharing and exchanging patient data between partner providers in your network is crucial to deliver seamless care coordination as patients navigate the healthcare system. It’s essential that all of this information be integrated into the complete patient record so as they are admitted, organizations have a longitudinal view into the patient history, so they can address the individual holistically, resulting in improved overall care.

Finding the right electronic health record (EHR) solution for your organization is just the first step in making this happen. An effective EHR provides real-time HIPAA compliant digital messaging, alerts and notifications that keep a patient’s care team updated on any late-breaking information that is relevant to their role in providing care to the patient. It’s even better when the information can be accessed in the field and on-the-go. Because of the need to transfer patients to the correct level of care at the right time, it’s important that communication happens instantly between care providers and success all depends on how complete the patient record is.

The more thorough the documentation is from contributing providers, the easier it is for proper care coordination to be established for all facets of care, even if your role doesn’t require EHR access. For example, a clinician or care provider could benefit from having the ability to view a patient’s current list of problems and medications as well as treatment or progress notes to make the best decisions regarding treatment, support or referrals as needed. This results in better outcomes for patients as well as reduced costs overall as it eliminates the need for duplicate treatment needs such as testing, monitoring, etc.

So what initial items do you need to look for when shopping for an EHR? Get started with ensuring that the solution you choose can be connected not only across all network provider organizations but that they also support network to network connectivity. Make sure it meets government requirements and industry standards. It’s also a significant benefit to your organization if your EHR provider offers hosting as it eliminates the need for in-house maintenance, letting your staff focus on what it does best – provide care.

Once you establish the basics of what to look for, continue on your EHR journey with more robust features that will allow you maximize workflows, messaging and alerts, mobile access and more. Access to the most current data allows for important information to be addressed promptly and accurately. As better decisions to prove care are established, the likelihood of negative outcomes are reduced which can result in tremendous benefits for your organization. Up next in our series on leveraging technology in healthcare, we’ll explore the importance of data and optimization. Stay tuned for more!