It is essential to the smooth operation of a today's healthcare organization to have a fully integrated EHR. The growth of EHR or EMR has been steady over the past few years. Some of that growth can be directly attributed to the HIPAA regulatory requirements. Other growth is the result of governmental healthcare initiatives such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
No matter the reason for the growth, your IT Organization has additional responsibility to the company as a whole. Change and Release Management is essential to the implementation of any new system. If you are struggling to track your changes for regulatory audits and more, check out the offer below.
The American Hospital Association has released the results of its latest Most Wired survey and the numbers reflect an increasing embrace of healthcare technology by hospitals. The most significant upward trends: computer physician order entry (CPOE), patient-generated data and use of big data.
InformationWeek spoke with health IT experts about why these numbers matter and what they mean for the future of healthcare technology.
CPOE: 60% of hospitals said medication orders are entered electronically. The greater use of CPOE is an expected upward trend, said Lorren Pettit, VP of market research at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Using CPOE has become a condition of employment at hospitals, he said, and the numbers will only increase with time. According to HIMSS data, 75% of hospitals have CPOE installed or are contracted to install it, he said.
Part of the increased use of CPOE is due to the shift from physician order entry to practitioner order entry, said Pettit.
Another article of interest is 10 Technologies to Keep Hospitals Competitive, by Bob Herman. Of course the #1 technology is a certified, efficient EHR system.
EHRs keep hospitals competitive for many reasons, especially as the healthcare industry places a bigger emphasis on preventive care and population health, says Linda Efferen, MD, chief medical officer at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, N.Y. In fact, she thinks EHRs and the related information technologies are the "glue" for the future of healthcare. "[EHRs are] a platform for communication," Dr. Efferen adds. "As a patient moves from one location in the healthcare continuum to another, we have another way to track patient information across the continuum of care."
I was also interested in technology #3, Smartphones, tablets and applications.
Over the past several years, the omnipresence of smartphones, tablets and their applications has been one of the biggest cultural shifts in the hospital setting, as well as society at large. They provide a wealth of information for physicians and other clinicians — and all within a fingertip's reach.
"More importantly, we're seeing a variety of applications for these smartphones that will allow physicians more interaction in the patient care experience," Dr. Hitchcock says. There are several popular smartphone and tablet apps for physicians. The iPad, which has almost become a default tablet, has countless popular apps for physicians and executives, ranging from medical calculators and medical Spanish to clinical presentations and actual EHRs.
There is also a huge shift towards #5 Telehealth tools and #8 Healthcare Staffing Management technology. All of these changes are putting enormous pressure on the IT Organization. Each requires significant planning and strategic implementation. The best way to manage these technology improvements is with a Change Management software solution. Let us know which healthcare tech is coming to your environment.
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