A doctor looking at an X-ray result
Doctor looking at lab test results

Data Has to Move at the Speed of Care!

In Healthcare IT, clinical data needs to move!  Electronic Health Record systems (EHRs) need to send data both internally, such as other domain-focused applications like the Blood Bank, PACS System, Nurse Staffing, Sepsis Management, Respiratory, Wound Care, and Fetal Monitoring and and externally to another provider or the CDC. If your EHR can’t effectively exchange data within or outside of your own network, you could be racking up patient safety issues, lost revenue, clinician burnout, and even eventually lawsuits. 

Here’s an example of a data exchange issue:

A patient, Mr. Smith, is admitted to your ED, presenting lower abdominal pain, a fever, and nausea. He’s seen his Primary Care Physician (PCP), who ordered an abdominal ultrasound and bloodwork. His PCP concluded that Mr. Smith has appendicitis and referred him to your ED. Luckily, the PCP works within your hospital’s health network, so Mr. Smith’s lab results should already be in his patient record.

Mr. Smith is triaged, and his vitals are entered into his patient record. However, when a physician accesses it, his lab results aren’t there. Your EHR and the PCP’s EHR couldn’t exchange the patient’s data electronically.

What can you expect the people in your organization do now?

· The physician needs those results to determine how to best treat the patient, and they can’t wait for the EHRs to keep up. They’ll order another abdominal ultrasound, another round of bloodwork, and an X-ray. 

· The hospital administrators know that if those tests have already been ordered and billed for today, your organization won’t be able to bill Mr. Smith’s insurance company again for the same tests. They’ll have to document the incident and explain why your organization lost money.

· The C-suite executives will be concerned that they may have lost revenue for this treatment, and they’ll likely turn to the administrators, informaticists, and/or data specialists for solutions.

This could be the end of your problem, but what happens if the patient’s condition worsens and his treatment is delayed as a direct result of the exchange issue? Let’s look further.

While your staff is waiting for the reordered lab results, Mr. Smith’s appendix ruptures. This releases bacteria into his body and puts him at risk of developing a blood infection that could take his life. Now your exchange issue has become a patient safety issue.

· The physicians will have to perform or assist with an emergency appendectomy, which will keep them from other patients and potentially keep them at work longer. This increases burnout and inhibits operational efficiency.

· The administrators will have to add to their report why the patient’s safety was put at risk. Depending on your  standard operating procedure, they could also be responsible for finding a solution to keep this from happening again.

· The Informaticists and data specialists are going to get a lot of questions. But in many cases, they may not know how to apply the answers, or they won’t have the resources.

42.7 million adverse events, like this one, happen during hospitalizations annually.[1] 

Many of them are a direct result of data errors. The most common errors are the three M’s: Missing data, Miscoded data, and Misplaced data, all of which affect patient safety and prevent hospitals and medical centers from operating effectively.

But remember you’re not the only ones losing in scenarios like these. The patients are losing twice– first during care, and then again when they get the insurance bill. 

Wouldn’t it be great to have better data so that you can provide better patient care and achieve better outcomes for everyone?  

Learn more with one of our no pressure FREE consultations. It costs nothing but a half hour of your time to meet with our one of our experts and talk through the challenges you’re having. Call us today at 1 703 926-5539 or 1 703 815-0900 or email us at sales@JPsys.com

[1] https://www.who.int/features/factfiles/patient_safety/en/