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3 ways to leverage your EMR connectivity to deliver meaningful insights

Using the EMR as your source of truth can expand the capabilities of assignments and alert escalation paths to power better communication.
By admin
Apr 11, 2022, 8:00 AM

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) solutions are top expenses for hospitals nationwide. It’s only fitting, then, that these powerful systems are priorities in digital transformation roadmaps. But if you’re limiting your transformation’s scope to the EMR itself, you may be missing out on powerful ways to maximize its benefit. You can bridge the gap between your physical care environments and virtual documentation and billing spaces. Here are three reasons to look at how solutions that connect to your EMR can help you convert data into and deliver meaningful insights, making the most of this significant investment. 

Improve communication

Targeted communication can help save lives. While many EMRs and business collaboration systems offer chat functionality, they often lack the ability to target communication based on how hospital teams operate — especially if you’re looking to go beyond patient assignments. When you need to bring in other interdisciplinary teams (EVS, code teams, dietary, etc.) and add intelligent alerting, this can cause roadblocks or significant gaps in important communication.

Leveraging the EMR as your source of truth can expand the capabilities of your directory, assignments, and alert escalation paths to power your communication. This can help reduce duplicative steps, save caregivers time and reduce assignment errors. For example, imagine the impact of going beyond patient assignments to escalate an alert to a role like “charge nurse,” even if the specific charge nurse on duty isn’t assigned to the patient. Using the right tool for each task can simplify communication while sharing information seamlessly.

Reduce errors and delays

EMRs are indispensable sources of truth regarding patient information and statuses. But if hospitals rely on busy caregivers to enter data manually, delays and errors can be all too common — and potentially dangerous.

Rather than heading to an EMR workstation every time, hospitals can choose patient-centric chat rooms which update dynamically as shifts change. This means team members know where to look for specific patient information and deeper context on what happened during previous shifts — eliminating “shift silos” and redundant communication. And with EMR connectivity built in, it’s easy to jump between applications and extend the power of your EMR to help your caregivers find the right information at any time. For example, caregivers coming on shift can check the chat for operational notes that give important updates but don’t belong in the EMR and rely on the patient chart for history. 

Likewise, sending additional patient data like vitals or waveforms to the right caregiver in near-real-time while documenting it back to the EMR can be powerful. Sending additional patient data like vitals or waveforms to the right caregiver in near-real-time and documenting it back to the EMR gives your caregivers the critical context and actionable insights they need to intervene faster. 

Boost adoption for on-the-go staff

Many EMRs were originally designed and optimized for desktop use, mainly driven by physicians’ charting practices. While they are moving toward mobile, there are plenty of opportunities to tailor formerly EMR-only processes for your on-the-go nursing staff — and improve adoption in the process.

Take discharge processes, for example. When nurses and other non-physician team members must use a certain workstation to access and complete their discharge tasks, delays can add up quickly. That’s why many hospitals connect this EMR-driven process to their clinical communication platform. Nurses are notified of the tasks they need to complete on their mobile devices — and empowered to jump seamlessly into the EMR to complete them from that same device. In fact, Avera Health in South Dakota saved 25 minutes per patient discharge by streamlining these processes with the Voalte Platform from Hillrom.1

On the road to digital transformation, your EMR is a natural focal point. And with the right solutions strategically connected to it, you can extend its power across departments and care teams to support meaningful use and maximize your investment. 

 

Hillrom is now a part of Baxter. Its Voalte® platform is a unified care communications solution that helps bring caregivers, patients and families together. Visit us online and discover how we are redefining care — for good.

 


References

1. Candice Friestad, DNP, MSN, MBA, RN, Avera Health (October 2018), Integrating with the EHR: Realizing the Benefits of a Patient–centric Directory. Session presented at VUE18, Sarasota, Florida.

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