Interoperability is a major buzz word in healthcare this year. Interoperability comprises the individuals, systems and processes that want to create, share, exchange and access all forms of health information. In healthcare, we most often talk about interoperability in terms of one EHR / EMR being able to access and use the ePHI of another EHR / EMR, allowing the free-flow of patient data to improve clinical practice. It is best to recall, however, that true interoperability involves multiple systems and potential stakeholders.
Interoperability of EHRs Only Solves A Single Problem
Hospitals have invested millions of dollars into EHR systems in order to streamline workflows and improve patient care. Unfortunately, many EHRs have failed to reduce the documentation burden for both doctors and nurses alike. Often cited as complicated and intrusive, EHRs have led to physician burnout and nurse retention issues. A recent AMA study indicates that physicians spend 49% of their time on EHR and desk work. With this obvious imbalance in time and ongoing interoperability issues related to EHRs, the greatest pressure in interoperability has been the exchange and use of information among EHRs. This is logical, but short-sighted.
If we look at the bigger picture, clinical workflows involve many other kinds of hospital systems and many other potential stakeholders. For example, if we zoom out to understand a nurse's day, a study published by Ann Hendrich et al found that nurses spend less than 20% of his or her time on direct patient care. The rest, as we know, is an often-inefficient regimen of tracking down physicians, verifying patient orders and documentation.
In the hospital setting, nurses and clinicians interact with many HIT systems related to patient care. There are schedule systems, phone systems, lab systems, alarm systems, bed call systems, supply systems and on and on. While there is not necessarily a need for one lab system to “speak” to another, there is definitely a need for all these systems to work together to ease the burden of non-clinical tasks.
The Big Picture: Unlocking the Potential of Other Hospital Systems
An Healthcare Communication Hub (HCH) is a designed to connect multiple hospital systems into a coherent patient-centred network. A HCH acts as a “broker” between multiple HIT systems, including systems of the same type, helping realize interoperability while also unlocking a more comprehensive set of tools for clinicians and nurses to improve patient care.
A true Healthcare Communication Hub helps add context to multiple healthcare systems, ensuring that multiple data flows don’t simply get channeled into a single unfiltered stream. The average physician receives over 77 critical events per day and both physicians and nurses alike deal with a high rate of alarms, of which 85% to 95% require no intervention. Intelligent rules to filter which lab values are received, which combines the results of multiple systems to reduce false alarms, and which can send results to nurses vs physicians, can greatly improve healthcare outcomes and hospital efficiencies.
In the future, the buzz phrase in healthcare is going to be HCH. In order to compete in the future medical economy, hospitals will need to do more than send data back and forth, they will need to find ways to demonstrate value through improved patient care.
As more and more data-producing systems come online, the urgency to harness the power of healthcare data is increasing. The Telmediq Healthcare Communication Hub was created to enable real-time communication among the care team, but its true power comes by tying together the data flows from disparate systems into a cohesive whole, helping contribute to a complete patient story available to the whole care team.
Telmediq is the #1 KLAS rated vendor for secure communication platforms for large hospital systems, acute-care and ambulatory facilities. Telmediq unifies communication by integrating 20+ clinical systems (EHR, schedules, call center, alarms, nurse call) to improve workflow and connect care team members.
Unlock the potential of your healthcare systems to create a patient-centred approach to healthcare communications. Let us walk you through a demo so you can see for yourself.