Health IT, Workflow, and Meaningful Use
Adoption of health information technology can improve health outcomes, reduce medication errors, and assist with chronic disease management. It can help staff work and collaborate more efficiently and even increase revenue for healthcare organizations. Best of all, quality of patient care and patient safety benefit tremendously when information technology assists clinicians in their day-to-day activities.
Even with these advantages, clinicians are concerned about the potential effects of health IT on clinical workflow, productivity, and delivering the best patient care. Since successful integration of health information technology into clinical workflow is absolutely essential to achieve Meaningful Use of electronic health records (EHRs), it's important to address these questions.
With the passage of healthcare reform and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, the landscape in which clinicians operate is changing. Integration of healthcare IT into patient care is inevitable. Clinicians need to move beyond concerns over disruptions to clinical workflow, focus on the long-term benefits that EHRs present, and look for ways to bring EHR technology into routine workflow.
Patient Care Comes First
The biggest impediment to health IT adoption is technology that does not fit into workflow. Unfamiliarity with using technology is another major factor, followed by limited user support during implementation and lack of nursing involvement in planning and technology selection.
Clinicians recognize that workflow can be improved through the use of technology in a number of areas including care delivery and coordination, documentation, medication administration, and communication. However, for valid reasons, they are skeptical of change.
Clinicians must be convinced of the benefits and trust the organization or EHR champion driving the change. Health IT systems are not IT projects; they are clinical care projects, which means that patient care drives the IT process, rather than care having to adapt to the IT solution.
Clinicians at the Center
However, EHR systems can be the catalyst that encourages clinicians to rethink workflow. With workflow redesign, clinicians can attain outcomes that are advantageous for patients and offer a return on the health IT investment: improved patient safety, enhanced quality of collected patient data, greater workflow efficiency, and improved distribution of tasks.
Because clinicians' first priority is patient care, they must be confident that their requirements are clearly understood. They need to have a say regarding the hardware and applications that are selected and implemented in their facility.
At the majority of healthcare organizations, nurses are involved in determining how technology should be integrated into the nursing workflow. Along with high levels of participation in the product selection process, it's important to address any issues related to IT and workflow, as well as clinicians' lack of familiarity with technology, for a healthy IT implementation.
Integrating Technology and Workflow
Healthcare organizations are making solid progress on infrastructure needed for health IT solutions at the point of care. Reliable networks enable clinicians to successfully integrate technology into their workflow. Other critical success factors for successful adoption include:
- Availability of technical support
- Solutions that meet security requirements
- Interoperability of systems
Above all, clinicians require proper training for technologies to be effortlessly integrated into clinical workflow in a meaningful way.
Help to Reach Your Goal
Connection can help identify risk factors and opportunities to improve clinician workflow. We'll work with you to ensure your technology is optimized to work properly using our fleet management, wireless, and workflow assessments. Our services offer critical insights into your environment, helping you understand strengths and weaknesses, boost productivity, and prevent disruptions to your workflow.
Without proper maintenance, carts can break down, disrupting patient care and frustrating clinicians and staff. Our Cart Fleet Assessment provides a detailed report based on an inspection of your entire cart fleet, a prioritized list of carts and recommended service, and an analysis of cart fleet performance, cart health rating, and suggestions for enhancements.
Healthcare environments require fine-tuning to achieve optimal workflow with the correct mix of technologies, policies, and resources. Our Clinical Device Assessment helps you synchronize technology applications, mobile devices, mobile workers, and operations, assess current state, processes, and level of staff expertise, and more.
To learn more, complete our Information Request Form or contact an
Account Executive at 1-800-369-1047.