Wednesday, January 28, 2015

New Care Coordination Technique Devised To Improve Quality Of EHR Systems

Digitalizing Patient Data
Recently, a learning device has been developed in order to improve the overall care coordination in hospitals. This will certainly help and also reduce the patient safety issues and errors that are bound to happen in the maintenance of electronic health records. The latest program helps to prevent injuries that can happen due to medical errors and this has in fact reduced the occurrence of such issues by almost 30 %, which is actually phenomenal.

As per the studies conducted by the nine academic centers, the three hours of training provided to the pediatric residents showed some interesting results.  By using the newly developed device the medical errors decreased from 4.7 per 100 admissions to 3.30 errors per the same number. In short, the chances of getting errors in the maintenance and management of electronic health records were reduced to a great extent. According to the researchers, there was a notable increase in the quality of documentation provided by the residents, especially during the shift change time. Along with it, even the clinical staff reported increased levels as far as the satisfaction with the implementation of the device were concerned.

As stated by Amy Starmer, MD, of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, “We recognized that it would take a great deal of work to make the handoff program a sustainable system and encourage its adoption across hospitals. We partnered with experts in research, curriculum development and administration, as well as local faculty and executives at the nine centers, to develop a comprehensive and multifaceted handoff and communication program. Now the new I-PASS program works seamlessly with existing tools and is part of each institution’s culture.” 

Even the study co-author F. Sessions Cole, MD, vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Washington University and chief medical officer of St. Louis Children’s Hospital commented on the benefits of the usage of the device and said that “This study suggests that a standardized process along with education and information technology support can reduce medical errors.”
Improve Patient Care

The training mainly included role playing as well as training in Electronic health records so that good communication strategies and plans get devised in order to help the residents, especially during the shift change. Undoubtedly, the use of this advanced device will benefit the electronic health records systems and minimize the errors that occur in its maintenance. 

It will be interesting to see how many healthcare organizations would actually prefer using this system to enhance the quality of health records in digital format.

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