Most people assumed that if critical access hospitals adopted Electronic Health Records (EHRs), they could improve operational workflows in the organization resulting in enhanced patient care.
However, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, though critical access hospitals have adopted EHRs, most of them struggle to use them for ‘advanced use’ such as patient engagement and clinical data analytics.
This could be due to various reasons. For instance, the clinician may feel that patient engagement is best done over the phone, and may not prioritize doing it digitally. Additionally, workforce capacity constraints and team expertise may act as barriers to use analytics in EHRs. Decisions as such would impact patient tracking, and affect further patient care coordination.
Despite the issues with the usage of EHRs, clinicians still end up spending a large quantity of time documenting patient care information in them to meet statutory retention requirements. This may not seem like a major problem until the clinician is confronted with challenges such as:
- Searching records in various historical systems – especially due to incomplete data.
- Remembering the passwords and menu configuration for those systems.
- Accessing and processing the data while maintaining the current operational data in the new systems.
These challenges contribute to clinician burnout, which may cause negative consequences for patient care, and destruct operational workflows. Data in multiple legacy systems can also affect data security and integrity, and create vulnerabilities in the organization’s systems.
Even if the critical access hospital decides to address such challenges by converting and migrating their historical patient records into the new system, the go-forward system might not be completely compatible with the data format of the data in legacy systems and cause other challenges. This could require the retention of some of the legacy systems with incompatible data at additional costs. Such a situation is terrible for a critical access organization, as the organization is forced to retain data in legacy systems and miss out on acquiring valuable clinical insights in the patient’s data.
Also, the hospital must ensure that its healthcare data is retained in compliance with HIPAA and other legal requirements.
- Federal laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) require that any records associated with HIPAA be retained for a minimum of six years starting from when the HIPAA-compliant policies were first implemented.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cites 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to establish the minimum of a 7-year retention period for medical records following the Date of Service (DoS).
- Each state in the US also has its own set of retention laws to be followed by healthcare facilities. Such state laws usually mandate that legacy data be retained between the duration of five to twenty-five or more years, depending on the state the organization is in, and the patient’s age.
Triyam helps critical access hospitals extract, convert, and migrate some data to the new EHR or archive their legacy data from multiple systems to the new system or to Triyam’s recommended archival solution, ‘Fovea EHR Archive ®.’ If the historic data is archived to Fovea, the archive can be integrated with the new system for quick access to both historical and operational data that can be provided for future information requests.
Fovea can be the one-stop solution for all the problems faced by the critical access hospital.
- Data from multiple systems can be archived into Fovea, thus providing a single unified platform and excellent interoperability for accessing historical data.
- As our solution is vendor-agnostic, any type of data can be archived in it. This eliminates the maintenance of legacy systems, which can then be decommissioned, resulting in significant cost savings for the hospital.
- Through Fovea, the critical access hospital would be able to provide up-to-date, comprehensive patient records, in a timely manner and ensure better care coordination across departments and between healthcare organizations.
- Fovea is HIPAA-compliant and SOC2-certified, and helps retain data as per statutory retention requirements.
- Fovea has extensive capability to connect to external systems via API interfaces; whether it is connecting to the new EHR/ERP or for Single Sign-On.
The Single Sign-On (SSO) feature in Fovea can help clinicians reduce time on their EHRs, as the functionality provides them with the ability to acquire historical data from multiple systems instantly by simply logging into Fovea from their current EHR. This makes a very easy Release of Information and downloading workflow for the users. Thus, through SSO, the hospital staff can save time searching through multiple EHRs and enjoy the seamless interoperability between the go-forward EHR, Fovea, and the legacy systems, thereby improving patient continuity of care.
Fovea’s model supports creating statistical reports, dashboards, and graphical analysis tools, with the ability to drill down into the data. This feature would help clinicians improve population and public health through more advanced reporting and disease surveillance.
As Fovea is a cloud-based solution, it allows critical access hospitals to securely access data anytime and anywhere on a PC, iPad, or mobile device and share information with other healthcare providers, patients, insurance companies, regulators, and auditors as needed.
Thus, Fovea can help critical access hospitals to facilitate improved data accessibility, enable interoperability for care coordination, and provide analytics data capabilities that would help hospitals the ability to leverage the data in EHRs for quality improvement and patient research.
Related: About Fovea EHR Archive
How Triyam helps Critical Access Hospitals
Triyam has provided such data management solutions for various critical access hospitals. Choosing Triyam’s team of experts as your partner provides the extensive experience needed to help your hospital meet its data management requirements.
Our team performs data extraction, conversion, migration and archival, based on retention guidelines and organizational needs, with collaboration with the facility at every step of the project. We ensure that our customer’s data is managed in a way that would provide their critical access hospital with a higher return on investment, improve their workflow, and help them manage their data in the long run with an optimal data management strategy.
Interested in Triyam’s data management solution for your critical access hospital?