So many times organizations are not capturing all the advantages of the EHR after they purchase it. The Electronic Health Record today has the capacity to do so many things if utilized properly. Your electronic health record vendor will show you how to set each of these different components up but it is up to the organization to tap into the tool and make it work. Below is a list of some of the common ways to use the electronic health record and what makes the electronic health record an advantage over the old paper record.
Health information recording and clinical data repository
An organization will have the ability to have immediate electronic access to person- and population-level information—patients’ diagnoses, allergies and laboratory test results—that would improve the ability of clinicians to make sound decisions in a timely manner provide secure, reliable, real-time access to patient health record information where and when it is needed to support care. They will be able to capture and manages episodic and longitudinal electronic health record information
Sharing of information, connectivity and interoperability
This is probably one of the best features. An organization would have the ability to provide a secure and readily accessible communication process among health care providers and patients to improve continuity of care and timeliness of diagnoses and treatments. This process provides information to facilitate teamwork and coordinate the process. The health care organization would also have the ability to share patient information among authorized professionals.
Accessing information—Results management
Health care providers would have the ability to have quick access of past and new test results support interfaces from labs.
Most EHR’s offer access to integrated database for online ordering lab, radiology, procedures, immunizations, supplies. They also offer online prescription writing and patient allergies and drug-drug interactions. Most come with a way to research medications and their usage.
Order entry and management
Most health care organization are already doing this without the EHR because they have a computer program that allows them to order and capture charges but the complete EHR will have the ability for data entry and storage orders for all medications, tests and other services in a computerized-base system.
This permits efficient data entry of all orders and documentation by authorized clinicians
Decision support—Office work flow management-Standards of care
The EHR has the ability to use computerized reminders, prompts, electronic alerts to improve compliance with best practices, ensure regular preventive and screenings practices, identify drug interactions, and facilitate diagnoses and treatments. That is correct, no more sticky notes. This element assists with the work of planning and delivering evidence-based care to individual and groups of patients. It functions as clinicians’ primary information resource during the provision of patient care.
In summary, if an organization is not utilizing all these tools they are less apt to get a good return on their investment. As a health care information consultant, I have found that it not the tool that it is the problem, it is the process. What I mean is that so many organizations purchase the electronic health record and expect it to solve all their problems. This type of expectation is not real. They expect the EHR to solve all problems. I have found that to have a good return on your investment from the EHR you need these things working together. This should be the formula. People + Education +Tool = Process. If you do not have adequately trained staff that understand their jobs or functions your company will struggle. I have found that adding a great tool is not going to make the process any better. Keep in mind that the electronic health record is a tool. True it offers a lot of advantages but all the other elements must be in place to make the process work. If you would like to know more about how your organization can take advantage of the EHR please call (405) 703-1115