The last few years have been highly active when it comes to introducing more IT to healthcare, and KSB is investing more time and money into technology. When changing or adding to our current processes, we always must first consider the impact and benefits of technology as it has become more embedded in our operations.
The Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a digital collection of a patient’s health information, compiled at one or more meetings with care providers. A patient’s record typically includes his/her basic demographic information, progress notes, past medical history, medications, vital signs, immunizations, laboratory data and radiology reports. The term EHR is often used to refer to the software platform that manages patient records maintained by a hospital or medical practice.
KSB Hospital’s EHR program is called eSOAR.
We have many additional complex systems and it’s grown increasingly important that all, including eSOAR, “speak” well with each other – a term called interoperability. It serves no one well if we have the best systems but they do not interface with each other.
The government expects us to utilize/manage this EHR in a meaningful way. Meaningful use has become common terminology for healthcare providers as the government continues to release proposed rules in terms of reporting and specific measures. The transition to new technology continues to be a challenge not only to our nation’s hospitals and health systems but to all IT vendors and systems as everyone struggles to achieve these new standards.
There are multiple systems impacted by these types of changes as we depend more on technology. With multiple systems, however, comes increased complexity and challenges to ensure systems are operating and interfacing the way they should.
Technology is here to stay — but it won’t be staying still. Not only do our providers and IT staff have to deal with complex systems, we also have to modify our processes/workflows constantly to ensure that we are using the latest technology as a tool to provide the best care for the patient.
Hang on – there will be more to come on this subject!