Live @ HIMSS AsiaPac: Treating the patient holistically
One key part of the conversations at HIMSS AsiaPac this year was how healthcare organization can move towards treating the whole patient. Creating and accessing a complete view of the patient, no matter who is providing care, continues to be a significant challenge for the healthcare industry globally.
Primary care and specialty physicians struggle to communicate and stay up-to-date with what is going on with a single patient. They often don’t have access to the same medical record and often see out-of-date information. It’s difficult for them to know how the others are treating their patient and to coordinate their care appropriately. This lack of information is frustrating for patients and clinicians alike.
This is especially true for patients with complicated medical histories and problems, such as the elderly or those with chronic diseases.
“It’s a story of connecting patient information, of managing and giving relevant information at the time it’s needed,” says Tim van der Werf, chief strategist of Technology Consulting for HP Asia Pacific and Japan, in the closing panel discussion.
This information, however, isn’t shared as simply as it might seem. “The data from the EMR is only the beginning to sharing information,” says Mark Dente, MD, chief medical officer at GE Healthcare, in the same closing panel discussion. “What about an ultrasound? What about a PET scan?”
And that’s just to name a few. What about the information that still exists on paper? Or in photos or videos?
The fact is that at least 25 percent of the patient record is held outside of the EMR. To really connect information across a patient’s continuum of care, healthcare organizations must also look at how to share all of a patient’s record – both EMR data and outside content. To do that, healthcare organizations are looking to other technology besides the EMR, such as enterprise content management (ECM). ECM captures patient content that exists outside of an EMR, manages it in a central repository and makes it securely available through the EMR where and when it is needed.
With the EMR and ECM working together, healthcare organizations can then begin to look at how to share the patient’s complete information across facilities in their own health system as well as those outside of it so the patient and all of his/her caregivers have a holistic view of care.