When discussing Meaningful Use with CIOs, I’ve received some comments that they pursued specific measures to meet the requirement, but they believe they’re not taking full advantage of the measure in their real-world, day-to-day workflow.
It's always fun to take a quick look back at the prior year and see what was accomplished, but my favorite thing is looking ahead to the future, and prioritizing what we can do to help organizations meet their 2018 goals.
"After years of frustrations, user wish-list turns positive." The headline from this year's EHR Satisfaction Survey suggests improvements in attitude and satisfaction toward hospital EHRs, yet the underlying challenges for CIOs and clinicians still haven't changed very much.
Interoperability remains a top challenge for hospitals — so much so that it was cited in the HealthcareIT News 2016 EHR Satisfaction Survey as a top issue. The lack of interoperability causes hospitals to be inefficient and causes duplicate work for clinicians. It may be time to start looking outside of the EHR to make interoperability between systems happen.
Have you read the HealthcareIT News 2016 EHR Satisfaction Survey results? (or maybe you even participated in the survey?)
The results were not totally suprprising to most. The EHRs that have been on top, remained on top, and overall, the satisfaction scores went up, which is encouraging. However, there were still some significant areas where hospitals are experiencing angst with their EHR.
I recently heard the best analogy that sums up what EHR optimization is all about. They said:
“just having the data in the system, but not being able to access it easily, is like having all the records in a gigantic filing cabinet that you have to manually search through each time you need information.”
When your organization is planning for an HL7 standards update, as with every new version of software or new standard, you'll face a learning curve. You have to understand what has changed, what new functions (e.g., benefits) you are going to get from it, but more importantly, you have to understand exactly what you have to do to implement the new version. Sometimes it's a simple upgrade, but other times, especially with standards, in order to move the technology forward, sometimes it's completely different and requires a lot more planning and implementation time.
With the future of healthcare moving to value-based care, physicians will be paid based on outcomes. So it's important for the provider, and for the patients' benefit, to make sure the outcomes are as good as they can be.
One of the perks of being in the healthcare IT business is being able to actually see how IT solutions, and specifically interoperability, can really help improve outcomes — whether it's the day-to-day work of hospital staff, or better yet, if it has a direct, positive effect on patients.