doctor holding tablet

3 routes to greater collaboration and care coordination

by ​Michael Campana
Information gridlock is a serious problem for IDNs and other health systems.

As the healthcare industry works towards population health goals and adapts to bundled payment models, collaboration and care coordination become increasingly important. Even in the era of electronic health records (EHRs), important documents are often difficult to access and share — resulting in congested workflows and sluggish productivity.

In fact, recent estimates show that health information management (HIM) departments at major health systems receive over 100 million patient record requests each year.1  Added to this, nearly 80 percent of accountable care organizations (ACO) see access to external data as their number-one challenge.2  With the massive amounts of data traveling from patient to provider and department to department, access to information is as important as ever.

There are a few things your organization can do to reduce information gridlock and improve collaboration:

Many hospitals have already embraced mobile technology by enabling initial access to such devices, but there’s still more you can do to avoid information gridlock in the transfer of this data.

Reduce dependence on paper

About half of personal and medical data today is extracted from paper documents. With hospital staff scattered across multiple locations and patients regularly moving between care settings, data is already fragmented, and if it’s stored on paper it’s significantly slower to travel. Shifting to a paperless system offers anywhere, anytime access to important information, and creates a 360-degree view of the patient — when and where you need it. Intelligent capture and scanning are just a couple important tools that you can implement to begin converting from paper to electronic information.

Implement mobile solutions, including mobile data capture

Today’s multidisciplinary care teams need remote access to applications, such as HIM or the EHR, from their mobile devices to find and integrate information from different platforms. Many hospitals have already embraced mobile technology by enabling initial access to such devices, but there’s still more you can do to avoid information gridlock in the transfer of this data. The key is to not only provide flexibility in mobile solutions like smartphones and tablets, but to enable connectivity and accessibility of data from various systems, such as your EHR, through the mobile device.

Embrace cloud application use and printing

Compared to other industries, healthcare organizations are still in the infant stages of adopting cloud technology. It’s not surprising that healthcare IT professionals are wary of cloud security, given the industry’s rigorous risk management and compliance goals. But that doesn’t mean that you have to compromise. Embracing these solutions and employing strong security protocols in tandem can bring a lot of benefits to your organization — including improved efficiencies and reduced departmental silos.

One hospital gets to the heart of efficient pharmacy order management

For a real-world example of streamlined information flow in healthcare, explore how Houston Methodist Hospital eliminated cumbersome data entry from paper forms and created a medication order management and electronic data exchange solution.
Michael Campana
Michael Campana joined Ricoh in 2012 as Senior Manager of Healthcare Marketing. He brings 27 years of experience to the role to lead the market positioning and strategy for Ricoh’s healthcare industry vertical in the Americas. Campana began his career in the healthcare industry upon graduating from the University of South Florida. He has worked for a number of healthcare organizations, including most recently Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services.
1 Marty McKenna. "Transitioning Release Of Information Workflow From Silos To Enterprise: A Primer For The Healthcare Industry." Health IT Outcomes. March 15, 2017.
2 Tina Foster. "Turning Data Challenges into Data Strategy". Media Health Leaders. April 3, 2017.
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