Springing forward with health information management

Nurse with tabletSpringing forward. We do it every year and, even though I’m excited about warmer temperatures, longer days and more light, it is hard to get my body up to speed after losing that one hour of sleep. It takes me a while to adjust but once I do, I am so glad to be there!

Changes in health information management go through much of the same patterns – anticipation of  change, change, adjusting to the change, and then, the magic slowly starts to happen, making everyone involved glad the change happened in the first place.

Building a health information management superhighway

In my last blog post, I discussed the “patient home” and how moving toward this model feels a lot like changing a traffic pattern in a major metropolitan area. Same idea, same pains.

It turns out the concept is gaining ground in the industry and from my recent trip to HIMSS in Las Vegas, I’ve gathered that technology vendors are starting to realize the benefits they can offer to the patient home model. HIMSS is a mind-boggling experience, but walking around and talking to the various vendors about what they are offering opened my eyes even more to the way patients and providers expect to manage their information in the near future.

Patients: The driving force

Going back to the traffic pattern analogy, it seems as though the initial phases of discovery have occurred, albeit in an unofficial capacity. IT vendors seem to have figured out that the likely future of health information management is shifting in focus and patients are becoming the center of the picture. They’re the ones behind the wheel now.

In the past, hospitals and doctors’ offices were the hub in the “spoke and wheel” model.  However, the mindset has shifted and patients have replaced providers as the hub. Providers are now just another spoke in the patient wheel.

Now that providers have completed the majority of the discovery process, what’s next? They are starting to assemble around board room tables to figure out how to adjust the technology they have in place to meet the needs of the changing traffic pattern.

Questions around current systems, infrastructures and the missing pieces are bubbling up and are being addressed as I type. So this is the perfect time to consider what enterprise information management (EIM) can do to assist with the construction of the new healthcare information superhighway and how providers can use it to gain an advantage in the marketplace.

Spring is upon us and, even though we may be a bit tired from the recent time change, what’s coming down the road for EIM in healthcare will keep us busy for quite some time. And that’s a good thing, especially for patients.

Margaret Hulvey

Margaret Hulvey (MSHA, RHIA, CHC, CHP, ECMp) is a healthcare business consultant for Hyland, creator of OnBase. Margaret’s role is to interact with and enable organizations to transform the way they do business. She strives to empower organizations to take ownership of and strategically expand their content management solutions. Her efforts allow organizations to focus on healthcare compliance, lowering risk and improving patient satisfaction. Margaret’s knowledge is deeply rooted in previous management roles in several healthcare organizations and through work with software providers. Through these experiences, she has had the opportunity to continue to grow as a healthcare business consultant and to further her expertise in best practices for the healthcare industry.

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