NUR 514 Discuss the importance of interoperability between EHRs and other disparate systems and the impact on improving quality and access to care

NUR 514 Discuss the importance of interoperability between EHRs and other disparate systems and the impact on improving quality and access to care

NUR 514 Discuss the importance of interoperability between EHRs and other disparate systems and the impact on improving quality and access to care

We live in a world where we have the capability for devices to interface and have interoperability with electronic health records—the beauty of endless options to improve patient safety and efficiency for healthcare staff. Working in the ICU, we have devices that can send data directly to the EHR for the nurse to validate the information. We have that capability with vital signs, continuous cardiac output monitoring, CRRT, and our IABP devices. The devices send the data and any changes made to the EHR for the nurse to validate. I believe applying this same technology to our IV pumps will help improve safety measures and efficiency for nurses and allow more time to focus on patient care. If IV pumps were integrated with the EHR, nurses could document medication rate changes in real time. This would help ensure that nurses are titrating medications within the order parameters. IV pump integration would help nurses focus on the task at hand and the patient’s needs rather than documenting the rate changes that are occurring with multiple medications. The ability to provide accurate documentation provides a clear picture of the patient care provided that can help manage the patient’s clinical needs through out their admission.

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In my previous role the system used was Care Advance and the organization was Optum. My role was with the Medicare Advantage population specifically working with members who had a diagnosis of diabetes, CHF or COPD. During their service period my role was to provide education, resources and support as well as work alongside their PCP or specialist. The problem was that we utilize one system, and they ALL utilize their own systems depending on what company they work for including private practices. These led to delay in care and in some cases, there was no information that was shared. This is important for many to understand that despite the fact that the insurance company is responsible for payments they do not always get information on their own members. There is a need for development of systems that have the capability to speak to one another seamlessly or at best information can be shared with much greater ease. Systems like EPIC have the capability of organizations sharing information with other entities whether this be SNF’s, LTC’s DME companies but in turn should be able to share that with valuable stakeholders such as insurance carriers.

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Interoperability in healthcare is the ability of different systems, services, and devices to communicate with each other and share data. It enables providers to access patient information from various sources, including hospitals, pharmacies, insurance companies, labs, home health organizations, and more (Bates & Samal, 2018). Interoperability between Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and other disparate systems is essential in order to improve the quality and access to care. The development of EHRs has allowed for a more efficient way of managing patient data across multiple healthcare providers, resulting in improved patient outcomes. However, without interoperability between EHRs and other systems, such as laboratory and imaging systems, it is difficult to access the most up-to-date patient information (Yadav et al., 2018). Without an integrated approach to healthcare data exchange, clinicians cannot easily coordinate care or proactively manage patients’ health needs.

Workflow analysis is a process for examining the tasks and activities that an organization undertakes in order to identify areas of improvement, automate processes, and improve the overall efficiency of business operations. It involves analyzing how things are currently done in order to identify any gaps or inefficiencies that exist in the existing system. Workflow analysis examines how data flows between different systems, identifying any gaps, obstacles, or redundancies that may arise as a result of the lack of inter-system communication. By analyzing the workflow, clinicians can identify potential problems in their current processes and develop strategies for improvement. Additionally, workflow analysis can be used to assess the impact of new technologies on healthcare data exchange and inform decisions about which systems should be integrated in order to achieve interoperability.

 

References:

 

Bates, D. W., & Samal, L. (2018). Interoperability: What is it, how can we make it work for clinicians, and how should we measure it in the future? Health Services Research, 53(5), 3270.

 

Yadav, P., Steinbach, M., Kumar, V., & Simon, G. (2018). Mining electronic health records (EHRs) A survey. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR), 50(6), 1–40.

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Interoperability for labs is crucial but also come with their own challenges. For one some of the information may be

NUR 514 Discuss the importance of interoperability between EHRs and other disparate systems and the impact on improving quality and access to care
NUR 514 Discuss the importance of interoperability between EHRs and other disparate systems and the impact on improving quality and access to care

left out or shortened. Another area that lab techs at our facility have voiced frustration is their own notes or comments not displaying. Another is that results can be placed in the wrong column or if they are critical don’t get flagged by the system. When the system was updated, their department requested to be part of the task force team as they noted they had several areas of discrepancies that could lead to patient safety concerns.

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Interoperability plays a significant role in ensuring easier and faster transfer of EHR of patient between providers. It is less associated with medical errors as communication is done accurately by all the providers, preventing repetition and performing redundant tasks. Improving care quality and access is associated with increased patient safety, the efficiency of care, and cost reduction. In addition, quality interventions reduce the possibility of medical errors among patients, and comprehensive patient assessment and interventions translate to improved care quality(DeNisco, 2021).

Workflow analysis can identify areas where there is a delay in information or where the worker performs repetitive tasks, hence identifying interoperability issues. In addition, it can help identify areas where healthcare providers need more reinforcement for effective interoperability in the organization. It can also identify where providers in different departments perform unnecessary or repetitive tasks to make interoperability quick and effective.

References:

DeNisco, S.M. (2021). Advanced practice nursing: Essential knowledge for the profession (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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In an article by Steger (2019) he states that medical errors account for 9.5 percent of deaths in the US as per Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. With the use of interoperability within an organization it helps to share data across systems, helps providers to reduce errors and should be used across the organization not just in a single department Steger (2019). You have pointed out an important topic in medical errors and how this can be an issue for physicians and nurses alike. The ability for interoperability for an organization is not just through a computerized view but the ability for different disciplines to view and verify information from provider to pharmacy to nurse and so on.

Reference:

Steger, A (2019). 3 ways interoperability can improve patient care. Healthtech. 3 Ways Healthcare Interoperability Can Improve Patient Care (healthtechmagazine.net)

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I agree with you that interoperability plays a significant role in ensuring easier and faster transfer of EHR of patient between providers. Interoperability lessen chances of medical errors. Healthcare organizations are working on improving healthcare services through integrating technology (Pine, 2019). However, technology advancements in healthcare settings generate different difficulties. Improving care quality and access is associated with increased patient safety, the efficiency of care, and cost reduction. Interoperability helps healthcare facilities in using technology in providing quality healthcare services (Jaleel et al., 2020). Workflow analysis can identify areas where there is a delay in information or where the worker performs repetitive tasks, hence identifying interoperability issues. Noticing and solving interoperability issues maintain effective communication between patients and healthcare workers. Effective interoperability in the organization helps healthcare organizations to attain their organizational goals. The presence of a competent staff facilitates proper implementation and reinforcement of interoperability.

References

Jaleel, A., Mahmood, T., Hassan, M. A., Bano, G., & Khurshid, S. K. (2020). Towards medical data interoperability through collaboration of healthcare devices. IEEE Access8, 132302-132319. DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2020.3009783

Pine, K. H. (2019). The qualculative dimension of healthcare data interoperability. Health Informatics Journal25(3), 536-548. https://doi.org/10.1177/1460458219833095