The Path to Meaningful Use
If you're looking for a document-heavy organization, you need look no further than the healthcare industry. Patient data is growing at a staggering rate. What used to be housed in a few over-sized file folders has become a vast collection of forms, histories, images, and treatment records that must be kept private and readily available for longer periods of time. Factor in new mandates for implementing meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs), and you have a major challenge on your hands.
Ultimately you'll need a content management system in concert with an EHR solution that incorporates all of a patient's data into a single, secure record that is accessible across multiple systems and platforms.
From Document Management to EHRs
Even as healthcare moves toward Meaningful Use, paper will exist in healthcare environments. Hospitals and doctors' offices will continue to generate new paper documents and receive them from other sources. You'll need integrated solutions to scan paper documents from admissions, the business office, and printed medical records and incorporate them into EHRs.
Once you have a working system in place for creating electronic records, you will be faced with your next challenge: how to store these files in compliance with HIPAA, HITECH, and other government privacy and accessibility mandates.
Making Your Move
Making the shift from documents to digital records can be a daunting task. It requires high-speed scanners to create images of numerous paper records; staff time to operate them and ensure that documents are correctly filed; indexing and retrieval capabilities such as those provided by a content management system; and a scalable storage infrastructure.
Create Efficient Workflow
Content management is a key part of an EHR project since the goal is to enable physicians and other clinicians to seamlessly access all information via the EHR system.
One solution is to determine which paper-based or unstructured data doctors and nurses need immediately and which can be accessed digitally within 24 hours. You can then outline a workflow process in which documents are scanned according to priority. These images are automatically entered into the content management system where they are indexed and linked directly to the appropriate EHR.
If you don't have a content management system, certain scanning solutions can enter admission forms and other documents into your EHR system. After you scan a form, you're prompted to enter indexing information such as patient name and Social Security number, and that information integrates directly into an EHR or other system.
With digital information and automated workflow, you can also efficiently route information to departments such as finance to decrease receivables and increase revenue.
Solutions for Practices
Ambulatory practices that use EHRs can realize many of the same benefits as larger providers: electronic ordering, charge capture, and improvements to patient safety and quality of care with features like clinical decision support. Your practice can be more proactive with instant access to charts and lab results, e-prescribing with pharmacies, health maintenance alerts, and medication recalls. An array of affordable, scalable EHR solutions is available, including cloud-based systems. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides cost relief for practices, and non-profits and Regional Extension Centers offer support programs, vendor recommendations, and pricing for physicians adopting EHRs.
More than just a way to go paperless, EHR and content management solutions can save you money, improve efficiency, and enhance security by managing your facility's clinical and financial information.
Where to Begin
Connection can help physicians' practices determine which EHR technology makes sense for their IT environment. For acute facilities, we can provide the tools, expertise, and services you need to ensure no document is left behind.
The easiest place to start addressing document management is at the paper level. Connection document management solutions can facilitate capture, indexing, and archiving of documents that exist outside your core applications—from forms that need to be digitized to documents that need to be stored in a secure and retrievable environment.
We will also work with you to identify and implement solutions that capture patient data more quickly than paper forms, put critical information in the hands of clinicians when and where they need it, and improve operational efficiency and quality of care.
Help is a Phone Call Away
From document management to IT solutions that support EHRs, Connection can help you develop and deploy a winning strategy.
To learn more, complete our Information Request Form or contact an
Account Executive at 1-800-369-1047.