Could accessing patient information be as easy as mobile banking?
Earlier this month, I attended the eHealth Insider Live conference in Birmingham, United Kingdom, where patient access to medical data was top of mind. Patients want to be able to see their own lab results, read their consultants’ impressions and, in general, be more involved in their medical care.
It started me thinking. After all, I was traveling out of the country. What if I’d become ill? Would a clinician in London be able to access my medical records in the United States? Probably not. I mean, when I’m home in the U.S. seeing a new consultant, she typically can’t access my records from the local hospital just down the street. It doesn’t seem to make sense. I can deposit a check to my bank using my smart phone from anywhere in the world, but we in the healthcare industry haven’t figured out a consistent, easy way to make medical records available.
Aside from patients wanting to have more access to their own records, for matters of patient care, it’s imperative that clinicians have access to all of the data that is available on their patients.
While many healthcare organizations have taken a huge step forward by implementing an electronic medical record (EMR), that’s really just the beginning. To truly improve access to information, we’ve got to be better about how we’re managing it. That’s where enterprise content management (ECM) solutions can help.
ECM solutions pull data from multiple systems – hospital, ambulatory, mental health, community care, X-rays, lab results, etc. – into one, secure, central repository. Bringing this data together in one location eliminates the time-consuming and tedious task of hunting down critical information. Instead, clinicians access a more accurate and complete picture of their patients and healthcare organizations create a safer care environment.
Providing a full patient record to both clinicians and patients may be new territory, but it needs to be on every healthcare organization’s IT strategy roadmap. A flexible ECM solution not only securely stores your content in one, central electronic repository, but it also presents that data in an intuitive format – even utilizing automation to kickoff routine, repeatable tasks to streamline processes from registration to release.
It would be comforting to know the next time I’m across the pond – or at a new provider on the other side of town – that accessing my information will be as easy as clicking a mouse.
Maybe I’ll even deposit a check from the waiting room.