I’m not an “EMR historian”, but my general understanding is that the EMR has and continues to evolve. When it first came to be, the EMR was an electronic replacement of the paper record.
The leading voices in healthcare are talking about the next big thing on the horizon. That would be CHR (Comprehensive Health Record). But what about the unfinished business that still exists for healthcare records? How do you incorporate the data from incoming external documents that bog down clinics and hospitals? This data comes from faxes, paper, and scanning workflows.
For many years, healthcare organizations all over the country have been transitioning from paper charts to electronic health records. From large hospitals to small clinics, almost everyone has adopted an EHR system to manage the care of their patient population. The shift to an electronic record comes with a number of benefits: increased speed of diagnosis, easier collaboration among care teams, better trending of vitals and test results. One big misconception of this transition is that paper charts and documents are a thing of the past and are no longer a concern.
On Wednesday, September 20, the CMS published an RFI requesting feedback "on a new direction to promote patient-centered care and test market-driven reforms that empower beneficiaries as consumers, provide price transparency, increase choices and competition to drive quality, reduce costs, and improve outcomes." Wait. That sounds very familiar, doesn't it? Isn't this what the Affordable Care Act, Meaningful Use, PQRS, MIPS, and a number of other initiatives have tried (or are still trying) to accomplish?
Patients feel that they aren’t getting quality care from their physicians. They are being incorrectly diagnosed because they simply aren’t getting more than 15-minutes with their physicians. Their questions aren’t being answered, but instead being directed towards nurses. Patients are feeling more and more like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, on a journey to the Emerald City to find the Wizard and ask the for help.
Physician burnout is at an extremely high rate. Doctors and nurses everywhere are expected to keep up with management changes, new hospital mandates, technology in procedures, all the while keeping their clinical care first-class. I’ve read countless articles about predictions that the burnout rate will rise
Epic is located in Madison and so are we.
Because our headquarters are in Madison, WI and many of our valuable customers are also Epic clients, we cannot help but notice when Epic has one of its major user events (UGM and XGM). Known by the “outside world” mostly for their fun and wild themes, and enjoyed by the non-invited at the “after parties” throughout the city, they are famous for filling up all the hotels and bringing a bit of chaos to our incredible city.
If you’ve been following Ellen Bzomowski’s blog “The Benefits of an Enterprise-wide Fax/Scan Handling Solution in Healthcare”, you may not be surprised to hear our just-released version 10.6 adds features to streamline enterprise-wide deployments.
The Extract Systems platform can now easily be deployed for use across a wide-range of departments and clinics using a single server installation and database.
Each department or clinic can use their own custom workflow that acts independently from all the others, while their documents and data are maintained as part of a larger Extract Systems ecosystem. This makes administrative tasks such as spinning up new departments a snap, and makes available comprehensive data for tracking, reporting and analysis of scans and faxes from across the entire organization.
That is just one of the many new features and enhancements in version 10.6. Several others play into successful enterprise-wide deployments in the healthcare space, but version 10.6 has benefits for virtually everyone including:
- A RESTful web API to allow much easier integrations with third party document management systems or processes.
- Enhancements to our engine and its machine learning capabilities to enable more accurate results in a wider range of situations.
- Improved accuracy reporting by allowing capture statistics to be broken down in virtually any imaginable way and allowing better customization of the results format.
- Improved scalability of our engine; while we have long been able to use multiple CPU cores to process multiple documents, 10.6 allows multiple CPU cores to be devoted to processing a single document faster. This is particularly useful in reducing the time it takes to process a large document.
- Automatic rotation of document pages that were scanned sideways or upside down. Among other things, this ensures documents routed into a document management system or EMR are more readily consumed when needed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: STEVE KURTH
Steve Kurth is the Software Development Manager at Extract. With 15 years of experience, Steve is an expert in the design, development and testing of primarily Windows-based enterprise software. Steve is always eager to find creative software solutions for complex customer requests.
The benefits of an Enterprise-wide fax/scan handling solution in healthcare is part three of a series. If you haven't read Part One and Part Two, read them now! While the benefits listed in our previous posts of this series can increase efficiency, a truly good enterprise fax and scanned document handling solution is one that can automate as much of the process as possible.
Do you ever find yourself asking "how could we still be processing so much paper and faxes in the year 2017?" Sometimes, it can feel like there are mountains of paper that need to be climbed and processed with no summit in sight. There are EMR's, Care Everywhere, FHIR, HIE's, reference lab interfaces, and hundreds of other ways to exchange information electronically. But here we are…still seeing hundreds or even thousands of actual faxes per day in clinics and HIM departments.