doctor holding tablet

3 routes to greater collaboration and care coordination


Tips on how to reduce information gridlock and improve care and team collaboration.

Read time: 3 minutes

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:

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 early 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.

How one hospital got 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.

Read the case study

Recommended for you

Finance Document Management System
Finance Document Management System

Finance Document Management System

Stream line your work with Ricoh's finance document management system. Serve your company and create efficient automated workflows with a managed cloud SaaS.

Sustainability in retail
Sustainability in retail

Sustainability in retail

Find out how retailers can leverage AI, automation and advanced analytics to reduce waste, improve energy efficiencies and achieve your retail sustainability goals.

Sustainability in banking
Sustainability in banking

Sustainability in banking

Today's sustainability rules and regulations creates many challenges for financial institutions. They also create big opportunities. Learn more as we explore and discuss.

  1. 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. 2. Tina Foster. "Turning Data Challenges into Data Strategy". Media Health Leaders. April 3, 2017.