The Health IT Holy Grail: Enterprise-wide Comprehensive, Fully Accessible Electronic Patient Record
In the industry's quest for a unified, structured and holistic view of a patient's health data, providers continue to seek an electronic patient record that is comprehensive and fully accessible across the enterprise. The benefits of such are far reaching – better collaboration among care teams, increased productivity and improved organizational performance.
An obstacle to meeting this objective has been the lack of an effective method to capture and manage critical information that typically resides outside the EHR – information contained in sources such as ancillary systems, paper files and even verbal exchanges. A fully accessible patient record is possible only when these disparate sources of data are combined into a single, secure and integrated repository.
While this has proven difficult in the past, technology is now available to create a single integrated platform for the secure exchange of health information and management of healthcare communication between providers, patients and payers. Providers can now document interactions – phone calls, faxes, web visits, medical records, even face-to-face conversations – tie them to the patient record and centrally store them for viewing, processing and retrieval.
By combining the capture and management of all communication types – voice, fax, image, data and electronic documents – providers can close gaps in documentation for a complete view of patient information exchanged across the continuum of care. This data is then leveraged to back up the hospital's daily efforts to schedule, authorize and coordinate patient care with accuracy and efficiency.
In the revenue cycle, for example, hospitals invest countless resources to ensure full and accurate reimbursement for services. Though there are nuances and variables affecting this process, documentation of the hospital's communication surrounding payment can protect the investment being made to secure these hard-earned dollars.