Extract’s Vice President of Professional Services and former Epic employee Rob Fea concludes our series on Fortune’s Death by a Thousand Clicks article, sharing personal experience and insight about electronic health records.
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.
In most healthcare institutions, medical procedures are associated with orders or encounters. An order (or standing order) can be defined as rules, regulations, protocols, or procedures prepared by the professional staff of a hospital or clinic and used as guidelines in the preparation and carrying out of medical and surgical procedures. An encounter can be defined as a health care contact between the patient and the provider who is responsible for diagnosing and treating the patient.
Having access to quality data in the EHR is paramount when using the data for decision making. If clinicians have to search through the media/documents tab in the EMR or they have faxes stuck in the system, staff does not have up-to-date information to use for the decision making process. This could potentially put a patient’s safety at risk and greatly delay the treatment process.
In a recent topic covered by NPR in Health News, titled Electronic Health Records May Help Customize Medical Treatments, expresses how healthcare is continuously uncovering the benefit of population health and the potential for a database of medical records to be mined in order to help shape an individual’s treatment.
A few weeks ago, my colleague started the discussion on signs that you need a more automated way to get valuable information out of a document, 4 Signs You Need an Advanced OCR Solution. People turn to OCR to convert text from a fax, scanned document, or PDF into raw text that can be used more readily. Companies like ours put an intelligent layer over that OCR process and automate the extraction, pre-validation and structuring of that data so that it becomes even more useful more quickly and in a more automated way.
There are so many aspects to hospital information systems. To someone investigating a system solution or diving deeper into the world of hospital systems, a glossary may be helpful. That is why we pulled some research together. There are a lot of healthcare terms that are floating around and while your exact definition of these may differ, here is our interpretation of some of the most common ones...
Non-interfaced data in healthcare is the “bane” of all clinical and administrative staff. If data is not interfaced, it’s not in the fields of the EMR, not in flow sheets, reports, trend analysis, etc. It causes more work for it to be moved, stored, and made accessible in EMR as scanned documents or otherwise. It makes continuation of care and quality of care much, much harder.
Healthcare regulations and processes continue to change. Tools that have been adopted and adapted throughout the evolution of healthcare technology include the EHR (electronic health record) and the EMR (electronic medical record). The EHR and EMR are complementary technologies, providing more benefit together than on their own.
Once again I had the pleasure of attending the 24th Annual UNOS Transplant Management Forum for my 4th time earlier this year. As always, it was a flurry of learning, knowledge-sharing, networking, and well-deserved awards for leaders in the industry.
It was as apparent this time as it was every time before, that the transplant community is a close-knit group who all struggle with similar things regardless of their geographical location. These struggles span across many areas, including financial, staffing, regulatory requirements, lack of organs, information technology, reporting, managing the constant deluge of paper, and many more. While I can't claim that Extract can help with all of these, there are two specific struggles that we excel at fixing: extracting discrete results from faxed external lab results and intelligently splitting, classifying, and filing large documents (such as referral packets) into patients' charts.