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Pioneers in Healthcare IT

enables healthcare institutions to achieve both these goals. These “rules” mimic the process of human logic by making “if-then” determinations at various stages in the order entry/result entry process. When an order for a test is entered into the lab system, for example, the rules determine if the patient is eligible for the protocol and that the ordered procedure is part of the treatment plan for the patient’s diagnosis. Allowances will be a necessary component. The ability to track these variances can help users monitor utilization and adjust practice guidelines, if necessary. Laboratory information systems are becoming the focal point for creating a “patient view” of clinical infor- mation. Medical information about each patient within the healthcare institution has traditionally been viewed on a departmental basis. Each department in the hos- pital – radiology, pharmacy and laboratory – has main- tained its own separate database on the same patient. The information was not chronologically consolidated to show the outcomes of the treatment process, nor was it immediately accessible on an enterprise-wide basis. With this type of comprehensive online patient

profi le, physicians can monitor the dates of specifi c treatments, procedures and lab results – as well as

the cause and effect of each – and more effectively prescribe the next course of action. Point-of-care testing will bring greater effi ciencies and productivity to hospital labs. It will also result in improved patient care. The growth of point-of-care testing has resulted from the need to reduce the turn- around time of tests and integrate laboratory clinicians into patient-focused teams. The integration of POC technology with the laboratory information system must occur on a real-time basis. Because POC technol- ogy is still considered to be in the development stage, current users will play a critical role in determining the way this tool will be implemented in the future. While POC technologies have been viewed as an expensive experiment by some hospitals, POC can actu- ally contribute to an institution’s cost-control efforts. Data entry at the bedside or within a clinic can help eliminate typical delays in the treatment process. The more quickly this data is entered and the results ana- lyzed, the sooner the next phase of patient treatment can be ordered. This eliminates expensive downtime in the treatment protocol.

The Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is the

essential underpinning of any significant health- care reform. This book clarifies the Crucial De- cisions that result in successful EMR adoption and avoidance of expensive EMR mistakes. It provides timely insight in leveraging ARRA/ HiTech, Meaningful Use, Stark Safe Harbor, CPOE and PQRI incentives and understand- ing current HITSP, HL7, ASTM, ELINCS and other interoperability standards.

SUCCESSFULLY

CHOOSING

YOUR EMR:

15 Crucial Decisions

DON’T MISS

THE EXCLUSIVE

FEATURE IN JULY

This book provides practical guidance on: Evaluating EMR ease-of-use Determining In-office vs. Web-based vs. Blended EMR deployment Deciding which user-interface approach to adopt Understanding structured vs. unstructured charting approaches Assess- ing EMR developer stability Obtaining legal advice about RFIs, RFPs and contract nego- tiations

The 13th MSP/Andrew EMR Benchmark™

product feature summary will be showcased in the July 2010 issue of Health Management Technology magazine. More results will ap- pear in the V12N2 issue of MSP’s Industry Alert™ newsletter. Data abstracts will also be provided to all State Regional Extension Centers (RECs) and 46 medical specialty organizations.

The 2010 HMT reader survey indicates al-

most half of respondents are involved in the purchasing process of an electronic records system. Since purchasing or upgrading EMRs/ EHRs is on the horizon for so many, we’ll continue our coverage in July, when HMT presents an exclusive supplement looking at the 2010 MSP/Andrew EMR Benchmark and EMR Constructor, which helps practices navigate the EMR adoption process.

Integration of clinical patient data will require greater information sharing among multiple hospitals across an increasingly larger geographic area. Many hospitals have recognized the need to track patient-physician encoun- ters and treatment patterns across multiple facilities in their networks or regional healthcare systems. Under the managed-competition strategy, physi- cians, employers and insurers will enter into these types of community health networks with hospitals as a way to increase effi ciencies of clinical data networks in providing services. Through HL7 and other attempts to standardize clinical data networks, laboratory test- ing information could be accessed by anyone (with the appropriate security) supporting these networks. This comprehensive level of data about a patient’s medical history will enable these cooperative networks to bet- ter manage the patient’s current and future treatment plans.

Maximizing technology

These four key trends can play a major role in bal- ancing the need for advanced technology with the need to justify technology investment – all while proving technology’s contribution to improved patient care. By addressing each of these trends – quality-outcome measurements, patient view of clinical information, point-of-care testing and community-health-informa- tion networks – when considering the effectiveness of a laboratory information system, a healthcare institution or network will ensure that it maximizes its investment in technology and human resources.

HMT

10 June 2010

HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY

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