HIEs Can Improve Clinician Workflow, Satisfaction
Posted On: August 6th, 2013
Former Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson (Retired)
Often, improving clinician satisfaction can be as easy as making sure they have the tools they need to do their job. Of course, today’s home health providers consider data as important a diagnostic tool as a stethoscope, which can add a layer of complexity. Fortunately, health information exchanges (HIEs) are starting to prove their worth in this area.
For example, HIEs allow clinicians better access to diagnostic images, usually with a single click from within a patient record. According to a recent article in Health Management Technology, clinicians are reporting that digital image exchange through an HIE is enabling them to significantly minimize duplicate tests, enhance quality of care and reduce patient exposure to radiation.
Of course, it’s not just images that home health clinicians need at the point of care. Indeed, they need a combination of demographic and clinical data about the patient, including medical history, current issues, current medications, allergies and more. A private HIE allows patient information like this to flow more freely among hospitals, primary care physicians and home health providers. It also allows certain data to be exchanged with regional and state HIEs for research and other purposes.
There’s another way that HIEs improve clinician satisfaction: improving workflow. Virtually every provider has a goal of spending more time with patients, which means reducing administrative tasks; HIEs provide the means for that. By allowing providers to abandon paper-based systems in favor of streamlined electronic forms, HIEs also reduce the potential for human error. Today, many in healthcare believe better data access will ultimately help clinicians make more precise diagnoses, better manage chronic diseases, reduce time spent on administration, and—most important—spend more time with patients.