In the past two decades, the United States government has aggressively tackled healthcare reform through legislation such as the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and the more recent Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009. Organizations in this sector had to quickly adapt to these changes to remain compliant and competitive.
New technology has helped to drive the effectiveness of patient care and widespread compliance with advanced legislation, with electronic medical records likely having the greatest impact on the healthcare sector. Medical organizations need to remain vigilant when it comes to deploying new solutions, and can do so by working with IT asset management providers that specialize in healthcare technology.
Clear examples of success
Healio recently reported that a new study published in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal revealed how EMRs can expedite the identification of the hepatitis C virus infection in babies, and improve the effectiveness of follow-up efforts for physicians. This has been a common thread in the EMR discussion, as experts and public officials believe that such systems can dramatically revolutionize widespread responses to dangerous diseases and viruses.
The source explained that the identification rate for HCV was 53 percent prior to the deployment of EMR systems, while this rate rose to 71 percent following the implementation of the technology. Although this is only one virus, electronically stored patient information has already had a vast and positive impact on the medical sector at large.
"By utilizing special features of the EMR, such as problem list, electronic messaging, monitoring testing and follow-up visits, we were able to improve the identification and appropriate testing and follow-up of infants born to HCV infected mothers," the report read, according to Healio. "Other EMR features that could be used in the future to further enhance the identification and follow-up testing of HCV exposed infants would be implementing best practice alerts that can be programmed into the EMR to remind physicians to test for HCV in patients at risk. Also, we could use the EMR to flag the charts of prenatally HCV exposed infants, thus reminding the [primary care physician] to obtain HCV testing by age 18 months."
Integration is key
Healthcare IT News reported earlier this month that medical organizations are still having some difficulty when trying to integrate patient-generated information into EMR systems. While the technology has certainly become more intuitive and accessible for the average healthcare provider, it is still not the easiest structure to optimize, especially when the proper supports are not in place.
According to the source, many healthcare providers are succeeding by using platforms that maximize interoperability and ease the integration process for biometric data. The news provider added that patient-generated information will continue to be a driving force for the biggest medical organizations in the U.S. for the foreseeable future, and must be a priority for leaders in the sector moving forward.
Many providers have started to use ServiceNow, which can be quickly implemented and expertly managed by using a proven consultant such as Aptris.