Tag: ehr

Interoperability can save lives, says b.well Connected Health CEO

Kristen Valdes said her daughter Bailey was born with a significant autoimmune condition, but that it took seven years and her daughter’s near-death experience to get the correct diagnosis. Bailey nearly died after she was prescribed medication for a sinus infection that was adverse to her autoimmune disorder. The almost fatal event could have been avoided had interoperability allowed physicians to see the entire medical record of her daughter’s care, Valdes said. Valdes advocated for seven years for an appropriate diagnosis. Along the way, there were breakdowns in communication, countless misdiagnoses, costly repeated procedures and diagnoses based on limited and siloed health data.

Sitting in a specialist’s EHR the day a pediatrician prescribed a sinus medication contraindicated to Bailey’s specific disease, was the correct diagnosis for Bailey’s autoimmune condition. The specialist’s EHR file had no connectivity to the pediatrician’s office. “She nearly died. That could have been completely avoided had we had interoperability,” said Valdes during the HIMSS20 Digital session, “From Healthcare Executive – to Caregiver – to Entrepreneur.” Medical error is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer.

It was especially frustrating to Valdes because she worked in the healthcare industry. She said she helped to build one of the first private Medicare Advantage plans for a company that was eventually acquired by UnitedHealthcare. She became an executive for the nation’s largest insurer and helped UnitedHealth Group’s Optum scale key technical aspects of the program. But her daughter’s experience inspired Valdes in 2015 to launch b.well Connected Health, a company that aggregates medical data fragmented in the various corners of a patient’s health record.

The platform, which she said was among the first of its kind, allows patients to sync their medical information so they can make better decisions. Healthcare has been slower to digitize than other industries. When it began catching up, it was not well executed, Valdes said. “We took really poorly-designed workflows, and we put them in an app, and we expected consumers to come use them,” Valdes said about the first attempts at digitizing medicine.

Today’s healthcare industry is now vastly digitized, especially with the growth in telemedicine seen during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, the industry still lacks connectivity, requiring patients to piece together a health plan on their own as they navigate a different portal for each medical office they visit. “My daughter has 17 patient portals, none of which talk to one another or house her correct medical record,” Valdes said. “This can lead to errors.”

Valdes said the possibility for advancements in connectivity grew with the 2016 passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, which she called the “sentinel event in healthcare that no one saw coming.” The act required health information technology developers publish application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow health information to be accessed and exchanged without special effort.

Valdes said the law has led to efforts to standardize data sharing so healthcare is more easily streamlined for patients. She said interoperability can help patients direct their own healthcare experience, allowing them to see alternative prescriptions or the most convenient pharmacy for pickup. She said it can also help fill gaps that patients might not be able to identify without synchronized care.

The hope is for aggregators to also help patients receive alerts about their healthcare, including how side effects from certain prescriptions can impact their conditions, as her daughter experienced. She named her company after her daughter, whom she has called “B” since she was a child.

“Bailey is our chief inspiration officer,” Valdes said, “who reminds us every day why it’s important to empower consumers, their families and their communities with the ability to advocate for themselves and for their loved ones.” Max Sullivan is a freelance writer and reporter who, in addition to writing about healthcare, has covered business stories, municipal government, education and crime.

sourcelink:http://www.emrindustry.com/interoperability-can-save-lives-says-b-well-connected-health-ceo/

Why Do Doctors Need Electronic Health Records Software?

Why Do Doctors Need Electronic Health Records Software?

Not until many decades ago were health care providers required to manually fill in tons of paperwork related to their patients’ complaints and symptoms, and the relevant diagnoses and prescriptions. Now, thanks to the modern Electronic Health Record Software, the laborious tasks have been simplified by efficient digital management of health records.

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The Shift Toward Digitization in the Health Care Industry

The world has been witnessing a major shift toward improved health care by adopting the robust health information systems that help significantly to streamline the regular processes in the clinical setting. EHR Software proves to be time and cost-saving while being accurate and easily accessible.

Information technology—just as it has positively impacted most of the modern industries—has come to assist the doctors in efficiently managing their patients’ health records and their care.

Reasons Why Modern Doctors and Hospitals Adopt EHR Software Extensively

Transitioning to a complete EHR solution paves the way for not only organizing and managing patient data but also helping clinicians in multiple ways. When designed and implemented in the way specifically required by providers, EHR Software ensures a list of positive gains that include increased efficiency, clinical as well as financial management benefits.

The following are a few of the key factors that drive doctors to adopt EHR Software:

1. Better care coordination: Digital records enable clinicians to easily track and coordinate patient care across medical practices and specialties.

2. Comprehensive patient view: EHR Software is all about managing health records in a dynamic, patient-centered way. EHRs help to track a person’s health data over a lifetime. Such a single and continuous record helps doctors to get a holistic view of the patients’ overall health. This facilitates better diagnosis and perfect treatment methods.

3. Workflow is streamlined: Cutting down paperwork and increasing the efficiency and productivity, EHR Software simplifies regular processes. It allows doctors to see more patients.

4. Error-free care: Clinical documentation of patient interactions becomes accurate and enables better tracking.

5. Increased quality of care: Custom-built EHR Software helps to organize patient health records in an organized way and update it regularly. This leads to better care quality at the hospitals.

6. Clinical outcomes: The inherent features in EHR Software ensure timeliness, equitable access, and patient-centered care delivery. These help greatly in improving patient outcomes.

Adopting medical information management systems such as 75Helath EHR Software helps health care providers and medical practices to reap several benefits. It increases patient safety and satisfaction as well.

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Electronic Health Records Software – 75Health

Medical records keep track of all details of a patient’s medical information such as history, medications, allergies, procedures required, and so on. Normally, an individual’s medical record is vital in the event of any emergencies as it becomes necessary for the clinicians taking care of the patient to study these said features in depth prior to offering appropriate treatment. Web based electronic health records software offers unique solution to such issues.

Electronic Health Records Software - 75Health

Hospitals should prepare now for future telehealth demands

In an article published in the Journal of the American Informatics Association this week, Duke University researchers examined COVID-19’s effect on transforming the telehealth landscape.

“Whether healthcare enterprises are ready or not, the new reality is that virtual care has arrived,” researchers said.

WHY IT MATTERS

As federal and state governments evolve in messaging around COVID-19, healthcare facilities have responded accordingly. These responses have included ramping up support for telehealth services to minimize in-person contact in both inpatient and outpatient care.

After examining a number of examples reported by U.S. healthcare organizations, researchers noted the advantages and limitations of a variety of telehealth platforms during multiple phases of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Telehealth is ideally suited to meet the demands of inpatient care while at the same time reducing virus transmission, stretching human and technical resources, and protecting patients and healthcare workers in the inpatient care setting,” said researchers in the article.

The researchers divided telehealth encounters into several categories: e-consult, in which providers asynchronously communicate with other providers; remote patient monitoring via connected device or patient self-reporting; patient-initiated chats with automated or live agents; and patient-provider communication using video or telephone messaging.

Some methods, they noted, require tight electronic health record integration to be useful. This was the case with patient-initiated chats, which could otherwise lack the context necessary for effective services.

Although video-based communication showed improvement in clinical care and favorable payer reimbursement when compared to telephone-based communication, the article authors noted that it requires technology some patients may not have access to – particularly the sickest patients or those with the most complex cases.

Much of the messaging around telehealth has highlighted its advantages for high-risk patients.

Researchers also pointed out, however, that “telehealth approaches allow staff – including those in quarantine, those in high-risk groups (older, immunosuppressed), and those with childcare responsibilities – to work remotely, supplementing in-person clinical services during the surge.”

Given the high numbers of patients being admitted to the ICU with COVID-19, researchers paid particular attention to the necessary considerations for executing a tele-ICU service.

When developing and deploying tele-ICU services, health systems should consider key stakeholders, such as physicians, potential vendors and IT departments; changes to processes; and any technology adaptations or upgrades.

“Healthcare enterprises may already have in place technologies that can be employed to accomplish telehealth,” researchers observed.

“New devices, such as tablets, can be secured with an adjustable clamp on mobile structures such as intravenous medication poles and moved to locations as needed,” they continued. “These are … relatively inexpensive and quick alternatives to traditional telehealth carts.”

THE LARGER TREND

Patient telehealth visit numbers have skyrocketed since the COVID-19 crisis began, with some health systems reporting staggering amounts of growth.

Providers have frequently turned to virtual services for outpatient care. Some hospitals, such as Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, have also begun streaming live footage from inpatient units to reduce the frequency of in-person visits.

Even after the crisis subsides, researchers predict that the demand for telehealth could increase sevenfold – particularly as technology advances and regulations are overhauled.

Analysts at research firm Frost & Sullivan forecast the development of more practical applications of AI and robotics, along with more user-friendly sensors and remote diagnostic equipment.

ON THE RECORD

Researchers warned that the effects of COVID-19 may materialize beyond patients seeking care for the disease – and proposed telehealth as a potential solution.

“A growing ‘care debt’ or deferred medical or surgical treatment may lead to increasing demand on a constrained healthcare system,” they wrote. “This may include COVID-19 patients, as well as those with other forms of acute and chronic disease.”

“Cancelled elective surgical cases and treatments during the pandemic can add to this ‘care debt’ that both patients and health systems may face,” they continued. “Along with the economic uncertainty of many healthcare organizations, further constraints to care capacity may be present during the post-pandemic recovery phase.”

“Proactive patient engagement through telehealth may help a healthcare system to effectively manage these contingencies,” they said.

“Specifically, health systems should work to create a strong, sustainable telehealth infrastructure now that will allow for more efficient use of hospital space and staff.”

sourcelink:https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/hospitals-should-prepare-now-future-telehealth-demands