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By enabling the EMR with RTLS, automatically feeding location and time-stamp data without manual intervention, organizations can maximize their EMR investment. RTLS enables powerful clinical process analysis from an operational perspective, helping analyze care delivery steps at a fi nite level, identifying ineffi ciencies and risk, and targeting improvement eff orts. By focusing on the orchestration of assets, patients and staff across the enterprise and especially in areas of high acuity such as the ED and OR, hospitals are able to improve capacity management, patient throughput, safety and quality of care, while enhancing the patient experience beyond the inherent capabilities of the EMR. Tight integration between RTLS and EMR will be a necessity


to deliver context and resource awareness. While the EMR delivers a patient-centric record, RTLS enablement provides an operational record that measures process eff ectiveness, effi ciency, clinical workfl ow and resource management – all critical to survival in this new era of health reform.


Andrew Olowu, CTO, Axxess Technology Solutions Home health agencies and hospitals should coordinate eff orts T e CMS Readmission Reduction Program, an important


part of the Aff ordable Care Act that went into eff ect on Oct. 1, 2012, will have a profound impact on how hospitals manage care transitions and work with community healthcare providers to prevent avoidable readmissions. With growing pressure to do more with less, hospitals cannot aff ord the 1-3 percent payment penalties or projections of total penalty over the next several years. T e latest study from the Alliance for Home Health Care


Quality and Innovation showed that home healthcare is not only cost eff ective, but also helps prevent avoidable hospital readmissions. The data from the Alliance underscores the importance of strongly coordinated care eff orts between hospitals and home healthcare providers. T is has profound implications for overall healthcare expenditure and is great news for hospitals. T ere will be an increase in hospitals partnering with home health agencies through health information exchanges (HIEs) as part of the shift for hospitals to become accountable care organizations (ACOs). T e HL7 organization already provides standards for such an exchange and interoperability among healthcare providers that improve care delivery, optimize workfl ow, reduce ambiguity and enhance knowledge transfer. It is therefore imperative for hospitals to partner with home health agencies with the right technology platform and EMR – one that ensures compatibility of systems, continuity of patient care information, and the ability to collaborate to ultimately improve overall patient outcomes and prevent costly readmission penalties. Hospitals should identify home health software vendors


that are members of HL7 and have successfully demonstrated compatibility with hospital EMRs. Such software vendors are


www.healthmgttech.com


typically already working with leading and top-performing home health agencies based on quality outcomes, quality improvement and fi nancial performance. T ese are the home health agencies that will be the strongest, most suitable partners.


Girish Kumar Navani, CEO and co-founder, eClinicalWorks T e evolving role of EHRs This coming year will see significant


advancements in EHRs and the role they play in healthcare. T ese systems will continue to expand to do more, especially around several key areas, including: Cloud computing - Cloud technology


has increased in popularity and aids in the increasing functionality of EHRs. T ose companies that have invested in running an agile, cloud-based infrastructure will release some exciting new developments in 2013 that will aid in bridging the care continuum. Analytics - T e adoption of EHRs has made the industry data rich but insight poor. We need to take that data and create closed-loop analytics that can drive and change decision making. ACOs, along with similar care programs, are taking off with recent estimates reporting that as many as 31 million Americans now receive healthcare through this model. To be successful, this requires advanced coordination and analytics tightly integrated with the EMR. Patient engagement - Getting patients more involved in


their care is critical for a healthier population and the key to that involvement is better and faster access to their information. People, for the most part, want to be active in their care so long as they trust who is delivering the communication. T is makes the healthcare provider a necessary piece to the engagement puzzle. EHR enhancements - T e industry will see touch screen,


speech recognition and handwriting capabilities added to EHRs, making workfl ow simpler and more intuitive.


David A. Burton, M.D., chairman, Healthcare Quality Catalyst Adaptive data warehouse, advanced analytics will maximize EHR value In 2013, hospitals will cope with


confl icting incentives during the transition from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement to value-based purchasing. EHRs provide only a starting point, not a solution to this schizophrenic dilemma. Many hospitals will be disappointed that


their EHR was not designed to generate the analytic information they need to improve care and reduce costs. Extracting the value from this massive infl ux of data requires a data warehouse that can: 1) extract, aggregate and integrate demographic, clinical, fi nancial, administrative, patient experience and other relevant data; and 2) apply advanced analytics to, organize and measure clinical, patient safety, cost and patient satisfaction outcomes.


HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY January 2013 7


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