A New Year’s Wish List from a Health IT Perspective

It’s the time of year when everyone is setting resolutions and making wish lists, so we wanted to get in on the action from a health IT perspective! While some people want a smaller waistline or a bigger bank account, we want what’s best for you and your entire healthcare team.

With that said, we’ve put together a New Year’s wish list for your company that we believe would make 2018 your best year yet!

User Friendly Software (for users AND health IT members)

Electronic health records (EHR) have a tendency to confuse rather than clarify, which causes users to waste their precious time and energy trying to figure out a system that isn’t user-friendly. This is incredibly inefficient for physicians, their medical staff, and health IT professionals as they’re usually strapped for time as is.

However, your EHR doesn’t have to be a nightmare for all who uses it. You can cut back on time, energy, and frustrations, simply by assuring your system has the following traits.

  • Simplicity. An EHR should be simple enough that its users do not have to overcome a major learning curve in order to use it effectively. A truly user-friendly EHR can and will be easily used from the very first day it’s implemented.
  • Comprehensive. In most cases, a comprehensive EHR leads to successful patient outcomes. Providers should be able to access the entire patient history. Patient data from different modules/systems, and if possible patient data from other facilities in one place, their EHR. This means that by consolidating patient data, an EHR can help a doctor be even better at his or her job.
  • Intelligent. An intelligent EHR helps your practice in a big way by significantly cutting down on documentation errors. Not only is this a good efficiency measure, but it leads to better patient outcomes as well.

A Clean Slate

One of the biggest frustrations for medical staff AND your health IT team when implementing a new EHR is accessing patient information that was entered prior to the new system.

Most EHR vendors won’t archive that data for you, but by archiving all the old data in legacy systems, providers can start the new EHR with a clean slate and at the same time not lose old historic records.

A vendor neutral archival system is a separate system from your new EHR.  When users sign into the archive app, they can access all of the legacy data. The most common functions of the data archive system are to:

  • Search and query historical data – clinical and financial data for Continuity of Care
  • Download, view, and print reports for Release of Information

System Communication

One thing nearly all medical professionals want is for their EHR systems to talk to one another, which we completely understand. They need to talk to each other. You need to be able to rapidly and efficiently move patient information. Including from the systems that have it to the systems that need it.

However, this also needs to be done in a way that also protects patient confidentiality, which is not easy.

More linear interfaces have come to the surface over the last few years, but we still have a ways to go. Though it’s a technological issue, it’s not just a technological issue. Interoperability requires all parties to adopt certain governance and trust principles. It also requires the creation of business agreements and highly detailed guides for implementing standards. The unique confidentiality issues surrounding health data also require the involvement of lawmakers and regulators.

Tackling these issues require a lot of work, but it will allow the healthcare field to truly move forward on the EHR front. This is why it’s on our wish list.

Is there anything you’d be ecstatic to see your healthcare facility implement in 2018? We would love to hear from you!