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Electronic health records

Finding the Future of Electronic Health Records in the US

Electronic health recordsThe proliferation of diagnostics and screening tests in the United States has generated massive amounts of patient data. To effectively store and manage these mounting volumes of data, the US health systems have invested over $20 billion in electronic health records (EHR systems) over the past decade. Based on the data from our healthcare market intelligence, over 85% of healthcare providers and physicians in the United States had access to EHR systems by the end of 2017. Although electronic medical records are poised to revolutionize patient care by putting patient information at the doctor’s fingertips, not all physicians are content with its implementation. Physicians often find themselves caught up in data entry with limited time for patient interactions. Moreover, electronic health records are currently far from being the panacea of patient safety and operational efficiency that they were expected to be. However, as electronic health records system matures, we can expect the future of electronic health records to live up to their potential in the long run.

Several challenges must be overcome to make electronic health records more integrated, including endless customization, vendor market share protection, health system market share protection, and technological factors. Are you an EHR vendor facing a similar dilemma? RFP to know how our solutions can help.

Future of electronic health records : Key roadblocks to overcome

Electronic health recordsSiloed systems

Prior to the implementation of electronic health records in the US, healthcare providers and patients were unable to effectively follow patient in time and space. Furthermore, such siloed systems added on to the hospital expenditure and wastage of physician time, restricting the provision for a better quality of care. EHR systems have the potential to mobilize hospital’s resources and enhance the overall patient outcome. But a major challenge of EHR systems is that various vendors had separately developed systems with different data formatting, making it difficult to share patient records between hospitals, physicians and external testing labs. This also makes it challenging to use data collected by patient monitoring devices. The Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) draft standard is trying to develop a standard for storing and transmitting data across healthcare organizations. And this is now being widely accepted by vendors of electronic health records systems. The recent regulations proposed by the IS government health insurance plan might soon make FHIR mandatory for electronic health records.

Reducing physician’s data entry work

Natural language processing is a great way to reduce the time spent on data entry work for physicians and facilitates them to allot more time to patients. However, this comes with its own set of challenges. Firstly, the clarity of the output will largely depend on the physician’s way with words. This could hamper the reliability of the report. Secondly, with such technology, patient privacy is at stake. Although countries like the US and UK have strong medical data privacy regulations, especially in the case of data transmission, we still come across data breach instances. Such breaches can lead to healthcare fraud especially in the case of medical insurance.

Choosing the right EHR system that fits the needs of your organization can be challenging. Get in touch with an expert from Infiniti Research and learn how we help clients better understand organizational requirements and identify solutions that fulfill organizational needs effectively.

Managing data entry errors

One of the key advantages of electronic health records was believed to be its ability to reduce errors, misplacement, and oversights in healthcare records. Also, in many cases, the illegibility of physicians’ handwriting was found to be the cause of several errors. Although the introduction of electronic medical records has reduced instances of medical errors considerably, the chances of errors cannot be completely ruled out. Digitalization could also pave for new opportunities for medical error. Drug safety authorities have confirmed that human-computer interactions were responsible for over 50% of problems in laboratory testing. This could drastically hamper patient care by causing inconvenience, errors or delays in diagnosis. Although electronic health records systems are designed to alert clinicians in case of mistakes, often these alerts are shrugged off as a ‘computer error’ and this in some cases could prove to be fatal for patients. In order to reduce the risk of alert fatigue causing similar mistakes in the future, it is advisable to switch off the most frequently ignored alerts.

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Is Self Service Kiosk the Next Big Thing in Healthcare Technology?

“Self service” is becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare industry. Well, that does not mean that patients are picking up medical equipment and operating on themselves. It basically means that the patients can easily check into hospitals without the help of medical administrators. Self service kiosk is an advanced healthcare technology that makes administrative tasks like hospital registration and billing more streamlined and faster. What are some of the other prominent benefits that the healthcare industry players can reap with the help of a self service kiosk? Let’s find out:IR_Brochure

Easy on the Pocket

Implementing new healthcare technologies such as a self service kiosk can reduce the cost for hospitals. Electronic kiosks are a one-time investment that help hospitals cut down on the staff employed in administrative facilities. Also, self-check-ins help them to save paper, thus, avoiding any sort of paperwork to maintain patient records and helping the hospital staff to spend more time on patient care rather than the administrative duties.

Minimum Patient Waiting Time

Through self service kiosk, paper forms have been completely replaced by digital storage. Traditionally, the administrative staff manually filled out patient data and assigned them to the concerned department. However, with the help of this advanced healthcare technology, patients can save time by registering themselves on the kiosks, and the data verification is done by swiping the identity card, making the process much simpler and faster.

Lesser Scope for Errors

A self service kiosk helps to reduce the data entry errors that usually happens from the administrative staff. Since the patients themselves fill out the data, it is highly likely for them to give accurate data. Also since this system makes the recording of data electronic, any duplication of data can be easily retrieved from records and alerted to the hospital authorities.

Easier Payment Method

Payment becomes a much easier task for patients with the help of a self service kiosk. Patients can now make payments easily by swiping their card or entering their card details into the kiosk. The device also automatically informs the patient of any outstanding medical balance, print out payments and medical certificates, and also notifies the hospital in case the patient has already made payments for the treatment received.

Reduces Confusion

A self service kiosk makes things much easier for patients. In case of any confusion in appointments, accessing the hospital map, payment details, etc. the patients do not have to depend on or wait for help from a hospital staff as they can access all the information directly through the kiosk.

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The Building Blocks of Successful mHealth Application

Key players in the healthcare industry have been facing issues being connected with patients all the time to improve the quality of care. Increased connectivity with the patients allows the healthcare providers to constantly monitor health conditions, send medication reminders, provide treatment support, and manage chronic diseases. mHealth arrives as a noble solution to this problem of connectivity as a mobile device is always present with an individual. Mobile phones, tablets, and wearables can be used for providing health services by tracking health information. IR_BrochuremHealth is gaining more popularity in underserved areas with a large population and widespread mobile phone usage. Even though the use of mHealth applications is on the rise, there are some models that can drive its success and make it future proof.

Interoperability and Compatibility

There are numerous devices available today that help collect health-related information. However, these devices vary in terms of their operating platform, sensors, and communication module, which can lead to compatibility issues. If an mHealth application has to share patient and healthcare records, the application should be compatible with all such devices, sensors, and underlying platforms.

Integration of Data Analytics

The availability of a massive amount of data collected from mobile devices helps provide useful insights that lower healthcare costs and improve quality. The use of data analytics can also drive the efficiency of healthcare delivery and improve patient outcomes. For instance, specific apps can track user data using GPS technology to track physical activity for vulnerable people and send out alerts to increase their physical activity.

Open mHealth

Companies are developing multiple mobile solutions to create innovative new tools to manage health. Open mHealth provides an open platform for these tools to integrate different health measures easily. Combining all data sources can help create a powerful feedback loop and deliver insights about a patient’s health status.

Socialization

Apart from collecting data and providing remote care, socialization is also an important aspect of the mHealth platform. mHealth platforms could connect people with similar conditions and create a community to share information, offer support, and provide coaching and recommendation.

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Wearable Devices – A Revolution in the Healthcare Industry

Wearable devices have found its use mostly as a lifestyle accessory to track personal fitness goals and other data. In recent times, the use of wearable devices as a health monitoring tool has been on the rise. Apart from calorie and steps counters, these devices have found a wide variety of health applications. A modern-day wearable device is Ask an analystcapable of monitoring stress levels, quality of sleep, blood glucose level, blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and vision performance. Constant innovation in the wearable devices market could change the healthcare industry for the better.

Medical Research

The area of medical research will hugely benefit with the use of wearable devices as it paves the way for superior data capturing capabilities. These devices also enable the researchers to conduct clinical research in an un-simulated environment, giving them a real-life validity. As a result, it can significantly reduce the cost of medical research by allowing for data collection across a large sample group at lower cost.

Proactive Healthcare

In the near future, wearable devices will revolutionize the way patients seek medical care. Instead of visiting a physician only after symptoms have appeared, wearables can continuously monitor health vitals. In addition to that, it can also send a notification to the caregiver leading to early detection and improvements in patient outcomes.

Medical Assistant

Wearable devices can be used as a tool to display information as and when needed by the healthcare providers. For instance, Google Glass was used by surgeons to preload CT scan and x-ray images into their field of vision while performing the surgery. Numerous recorded instances have proved that surgeries carried out with the help of wearable devices are performing better than conventional surgeries.

Wearable devices are changing the landscape of the healthcare industry. Decreasing cost of sensors and continuous innovation in the wearables field are expected to drive the technology adoption rate in this industry.

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Top 3 Ways in which Big Data Can Transform Patient Monitoring

As the traditional healthcare industry is moving towards an era of open information, big data has emerged as a potent tool to provide smart, data-driven thinking. Until recently, most stakeholders in the medical industry had underinvested in information technology. However, with technology seeping into the life sciences industry, there has been an enormous collection of data which can be used to bring down the treatment costs, prevent diseases, and improve the overall quality of life.

Big data in patient monitoring: The tipping point

The quest for innovation in patient monitoring, along with the convergence of several changes in the health care industry are the two reasons for the adoption of big data. Five major changes which created a tipping point for the adoption of big data are:

  1. High demand for better data
  2. Availability of relevant data in the form of EHRs
  3. Adoption of analytical tools for patient care
  4. Market-friendly policies by governments across the globe

Top three ways in which big data is transforming patient monitoring

  1. Electronic health records (EHRs)

EHRs use big data on a huge scale. These digital records store crucial patient information like their medical history, results of lab tests, demographic detail, among others. The data collected in these electronic documents, enable doctors to get a clear picture of the patient history and facilitate better and timely delivery of the healthcare services.

Another major advantage of adopting big data is that now patients can easily keep track of their prescriptions and lab tests. So, by integrating the EHRs across various medical facilities, patients have experienced reduced number of unnecessary hospital visits and lab tests.

  1. Telemedicine

Digitization, smartphones, wireless devices, and online video conferences have set the ball rolling for delivery of remote clinical services. Telemedicine is in full bloom today, all thanks to these technological innovations. The data collected from these devices can be easily shared which makes diagnosis a lot easier. Apart from remote patient monitoring, big data also helps in predicting acute medical events and prevent deterioration of patient’s conditions.

Another major way in which big data has changed telemedicine is by providing real-time data with which operations from remote locations using robots.

  1. Predictive analytics and informed strategic planning

Quick decisions need to be taken when it comes to treating patients suffering from multiple complex conditions. The role of data becomes even more important in this context. Big data provides insights which help doctors make informed decisions and improve the overall treatment process. These insights also help in predictive analytics, as it becomes easier to foresee which patient is at the risk of diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.

Most of all, the use of big data in patient monitoring enables academics and care managers to review the healthcare delivery strategy and work towards informed strategic planning.

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