Information technology has revolutionized many industries, and healthcare is no exception.
Gone are the days of clunky computer systems and paper charts. Today’s physicians have 24/7 access to medical records at their fingertips, and patients can view test results and schedule follow-up appointments through apps on their phones. Technologies such as electronic health records (EHRs) have helped hospitals cut back on paperwork and unnecessary tests and procedures, while improving the safety and coordination of care and giving patients direct access to their medical information.
Despite these advances, there are still more challenges to overcome in the healthcare information technology (HIT) landscape. Fortunately, U.S. National Health IT Week is a time for the industry to recalibrate its focus on driving change in healthcare through the application of information and technology. Founded by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the Institute for e-Policy, the weeklong celebration runs September 23–27 under the theme “Supporting Healthy Communities.” The week features webinars, virtual conferences, and other events led by national healthcare stakeholders, including providers, public agencies, nonprofits, and policy makers. These events encourage stakeholders to share their successes with healthcare IT and collaborate on initiatives for further advancement.
Of course, the healthcare IT innovations that make the biggest impact nationwide start with local hospitals in how they use these resources to deliver care to patients, building healthier communities in the process.
3 Ways Healthcare Systems Use EHRs:
- Improving health for patient populations: More patients are receiving care in outpatient settings due to the convenience, but these facilities often use different kinds of EHR software, which can make transferring records difficult. Adopting an integrated EHR platform enables hospitals to create a standardized, central repository for patient data that can be shared securely with multiple healthcare organizations throughout the community. This makes it easier for local providers to track health trends and needs, and to work more closely with public health officials to monitor, prevent, and manage diseases.
- Putting patients at the center of care: Many hospitals still operate with fragmented software systems that keep clinicians working in silos and hamper their ability to share timely, relevant information with each other and their patients. By collecting clinical and financial data in a single platform, EHRs can help ensure that clinicians and care team members have access to the most up-to-date, accurate records so they can make the best decisions for each individual patient. EHRs can also help hospitals streamline referrals and transfers between care facilities and deliver telehealth services to those in rural areas.
- Boosting efficiency and outcomes: EHRs allow clinicians to chart as they go and take more detailed notes during patient visits, which can encourage more conversations and engagement with patients and lead to better outcomes. Patients can also interact with physicians more frequently through EHR portals that provide secure, direct messaging.
Celebrate Your Success
Celebrate this year’s U.S. National Healthcare IT Week by sharing your own successful HIT experiences and showcasing how these emerging technologies are transforming care in your hospital. Here are some ways to get involved:
- Write to your federal or state legislators about the need for improved federal and state policies for healthcare IT.
- Host a public or hospital-wide event to raise awareness about the value of healthcare IT to your organization and recognize IT staff.
- Share your #IHeartHIT stories during #NHITWeek here or through social media accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. Don’t forget to tag your hospital and MEDHOST, too!
To learn more about how your hospital or healthcare organization can benefit from state-of-the-art healthcare IT, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.800.383.6278 to speak with one of our specialists.
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