In the healthcare industry, speed, efficiency and accuracy are critical elements for providing the best care for patients. Physicians, nurses and various support staff need access to vast amounts of data and information at their fingertips including patient information, medications, electronic medical records (EMR), physician notes, lab results and more. Taking time to search for patient information or, worse, not knowing it exists, could lead to errors and have devastating consequences.
Administrative departments also play a role in patient care by managing personal information, billing, ensuring compliance and tracking healthcare insurance. Others need to replenish medical supplies, order equipment, manage delivery and distribution and a host of other needs.
Some reports suggest that hospital errors could be the third leading cause of death in the U.S., and experts believe that better systems should be put in place to make hospitals safer. An Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system can minimize error-prone paperwork and integrate various departments to help mitigate such risks by capturing vast amounts of data. It can integrate with an existing EMR or enterprise resource planning system (ERP) to store the data in a central repository and make it accessible to those who need it. Here’s how it can improve the following areas.
1. Medical Record Transparency
The diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care of patients require dozens of medical professionals working together. Nurses, physicians, surgeons and specialists obviously need to stay in constant communication, but others within healthcare facilities play significant roles in patient care as well.
Food service needs to be aware of dietary restrictions, the pharmacist requires information to properly dispense medication, lab technicians need to keep hundreds of results organized, and the list goes on. When the patient is discharged, even more people need access for follow-up care, billing, insurance and more. In fact, it’s estimated that about 150 different users seek access to a single patient’s medical records.
Clear communication and transparency across all channels help everyone fully understand a patient’s medical condition, treat it appropriately and bill accordingly, and an ECM solution can make the information quickly and easily accessible to those who need it.
2. Patient Confidentiality
The vast majority of healthcare facilities have shifted away from paper documents to electronic records. While this has certainly created efficiencies and helped to minimize errors by making patient information available through web-based platforms, it also can potentially expose patient data to hackers and subsequent security breaches. News of security breaches have become a perennial headline in recent years, emphasizing the importance of patient confidentiality. In combination with robust security policies, an effective ECM can help to mitigate the risks of cyberattacks and proactively combat emerging threats.
3. Compliance Reporting
Various security and privacy regulations from HIPAA and other agencies require multiple reports and accurate record keeping. Compiling these reports can be a time-consuming and burdensome task if it requires tracking down paperwork or organizing data from various systems. An ECM can create built-in audit trails and retrieve relevant documents in a fraction of the time from a central repository. Patient records that still remain on hard copies can be scanned and entered into the ECM to provide a full-scope view and ensure compliance.
For a healthcare facility, ECM can serve as a critical tool in upholding its mission of improving the health of those they serve while not compromising the security of sensitive personal information. Contact the experts at the Gordon Flesch Company for a free consultation and to learn how ECM can improve efficiencies and patient care.