EHR transition: From paper charts to custom reports

Some EHR systems don't produce the reports needed for meaningful use attestation. That's why physicians need to determine which reports they get.

Healthcare organizations are increasingly generating more data. This wealth of information can be leveraged through data mining, giving organizations access to data that was previously locked inside paper charts. Open conversations with clinicians must be maintained in order to make significant and beneficial use of this growing amount of data.

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Defining good and proper uses of data is the first step. While EHR vendors provide reports within their systems, they are too commonly formatted for reporting and nothing else. Meaningful use has required many EHR vendors to add additional reports tailored to the specific requirements needed for attestation. While that's a step in the right direction, the question still remains: How can clinicians be encouraged to participate in determining what reports are made available to them? There are a few things that can be done to get physicians to move away from paper charts and get them more interested in custom reports. Here are some suggestions:

  • Show the value of how business intelligence (BI) helps health organizations improve performance and boost the bottom line.
  • Provide concrete examples that show how data is helping improve patient outcomes (this will become more relevant as we move toward an outcome-based payment model).
  • Identify insights that can help improve workflows and processes within the clinical environment.
  • Help patient treatment through proactive reminders for those who have met a certain criteria.
  • Use BI and reporting to help with risk management and contract renegotiation support.
  • Supply information for more accurate evidence-based care decisions.

Healthcare, like many other industries, can leverage BI to measure and track care quality, revenue, costs and more. Focusing on these areas is important to help ensure a successful organization. The more exposure physicians get to BI, the more use they can make of the captured data.

About the author:
Reda Chouffani is vice president of development with Biz Technology Solutions Inc., which provides software design, development and deployment services for the healthcare industry. Let us know what you think about the story; email editor@searchhealthit.com or contact @SearchHealthIT on Twitter.

This was first published in October 2013

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