Healthcare Reliability Part 3: User Access

Previously, we discussed the first of three key components of a reliable enterprise content management (ECM) solution for healthcare: system uptime. Without system uptime that meets healthcare industry demands, you take away easy access to your organization’s content, which is why you sought out an ECM solution in the first place.

And we must define user uptime by something more than how often the solution is down. While a system may be up and running it serves little purpose if it cannot provide the content clinicians and staff need, when they need it.

So we have to look at new ways to define reliable user access. First, can the ECM solution retain the content types your organization depends on? If not, how will users access it?

This is where a vendor with a large and diverse customer base becomes important. That signals experience with a number of content types and the likelihood that the solution can handle each. It also suggests that new content types – images, video and the “next big thing” – are already on the vendor’s radar.

Next, look at a solution’s ability to integrate with other applications and systems throughout your organization. Your electronic medical record (EMR) and accounting and billing applications are crucial to your everyday processes. Connecting each to allow instant access from any system eliminates the need for your users to switch between screens. This speeds processes and creates a stronger user experience – even if users never know they’re working in two systems at once. So finding an ECM solution that can integrate with the everyday systems you use the most goes a long way to improve user access to your content.

You also need a solution that can integrate with future applications as well. As your healthcare organization continues to grow, you want your ECM solution to grow with you. Otherwise you could quickly outgrow your solution, shrinking user access and eroding your technology investment.

Measuring user access is not limited to the four walls of your organization. Mobile access to content is also important. Supplying your clinicians and staff with access to the information they need via mobile devices while in the field and at home – whether they have internet access or not – allows them to complete tasks more quickly. Without it, work takes longer to get done, costing you time and money. That means finding an ECM solution with flexible mobile options translates directly into the speed of user access you require.

To have true control over your enterprise’s content, it needs to be accessible at any time. So keeping in mind what content you use, your integration needs and a solution’s mobile offerings is crucial to choosing a reliable solution with the user access you need.

In the next installment of the reliability series, we will talk about how IT maintenance plays into a reliable ECM solution.

Susan deCathelineau

Susan deCathelineau

With more than 20 years of healthcare technology and operations leadership experience, Susan deCathelineau is a leader in providing management and consultant services for Health Information Management, Revenue Cycle and Electronic Medical Record strategies. Most notably, she was responsible for the successful enterprise-wide OnBase implementation at Allina Health, which included the integration with the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) initiative. In her current role at Hyland, deCathelineau is responsible for developing and implementing a global strategic vision, to ensure that OnBase Healthcare solutions and services earn customer loyalty and deliver operational excellence. Prior to joining Hyland in 2006, deCathelineau was director of corporate information services at Allina Health System and vice president of product management at QuadraMed. She holds a bachelor’s degree in health information management from the College of St. Scholastica, and completed her master’s degree in health services administration at the College of St. Francis. She is currently Hyland’s vice president for global healthcare sales and services.

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