As medical records have evolved from paper to an electronic format, it has helped drive progress, yet it has also introduced a variety of challenges for end-users. An explosion of digital health technologies using competing and asynchronous standards makes data integration confusing and difficult. Efficiently collecting and securely integrating data is cumbersome. As a result, informative health data from outside providers to transplant centers can be lost. eHealth Technologies can work with Epic/Phoenix and Cerner/OTTR implementation teams to map health data so that it is both useful and discoverable by end-users to provide a more comprehensive picture of candidates for transplant.
Electronic health records are moving towards universal usage in settings such as hospitals, laboratories, ambulatory centers, behavioral health centers, cardiac facilities, radiology clinics, surgery centers, dialysis units and centers, and extended care facilities. As a result, information can be discovered and retrieved more easily than paper records, but the process of finding the information and putting it in a usable format to prevent medical errors is still evolving.
With the increased adoption of electronic formats, we have seen firsthand how usability issues associated with the underlying software and implementation choices can diminish the desired impact of use. Data integration reduces manual entry, increases data integrity, and ultimately provides the means through which a comprehensive view of the medical record is possible.
Together we can develop a set of recommendations to achieve the ideal state for all stakeholders while adhering to the guiding principles, including:
- The development of patient-centered workflows and standards.
- Naming standards for attachments.
- Creation of an extension and renewal mechanism for obtaining authorizations.
Multiple solutions can be implemented to create a workflow for the department which will allow them to efficiently care for patients by reducing the input points and time spent toggling between different systems. eHealth Technologies discovered four areas that need to be addressed to improve the usability of documents.
- Better alignment of EHRs with clinical workflow, and documentation tools.
- Optimized user interface design to improve efficiency, experience, and end-user satisfaction.
- Coordinated clinical content to reduce burden on end-users.
- Promotion of implementation decisions for clinician efficiency and satisfaction.
Two major transplant software platforms are in use by most transplant centers: Phoenix and OTTR. Phoenix is housed within the Epic EHR and OTTR is a standalone software that uses a pass-through button to toggle between the transplant information and the EHR.
A collaboration between eHealth Technologies and the integration teams could build a vigorous set of tools containing algorithmic matching logic to automatically map as many records as possible.
Benefits of such a collaboration include:
- Contributing to workflow by routing results to the appropriate task.
- Providing a view of a patient’s clinically relevant labs in a concise format.
- Allowing for retrieval of all lab data on a given patient from multiple sources which may include multiple interfaces and manually entered labs.
- Storing multiple versions of a lab report.
- Providing the ability to post results as both discrete and as text allowing for storage of an HLA report into individual locations.
The result of this collaboration will benefit the patient, the doctors, and the transplant process. When a patient is presented at Selection Committee to potentially receive a life-saving organ, a picture of the patient is painted. This is a comprehensive patient case that involves multiple levels of information: admission notes, laboratory results, orders, study reports, discharge summaries, primary care provider notes, medications, demographic and insurance data, and nursing notes. The information can be days old, or years old and a missing piece can be the difference in the patient’s outcome. By having the patient information streamlined and correctly mapped, end users will be able to view the complete medical history and make data-backed decisions.
Many transplant programs have struggled to achieve integration that optimizes patient point-of-care, longitudinal patient tracking, and effective data capture and management. The integration of eHealth Technologies with Epic/Phoenix and Cerner/OTTR will enhance the workflows and processes required to support solid organ, and blood and marrow transplant care. eHealth Technologies can be integrated to collect the patient’s relevant medical history. Through workflows and mapping we put the information in a safe location to facilitate the end-users’ ability to determine if a transplant is in the patient’s best interest.
eHealth Technologies is excited about the progress that has been made to capture and integrate patient data to help improve patient care and health. We look forward to further advancing the standardized collection of health data.