Although health systems have been adopting electronic medical records because of financial incentives and meaningful use criteria, the utilization of that information can vary widely on a day-to-day basis.
Structured reporting represents the ideal, the ability for patient data, test and scan results, diagnosis information and more to flow among systems in a way that this information can easily be reviewed. Physicians and cardiologists should have access to the right information at the right time and in the right format so they can make the correct diagnosis and guide patient care with confidence.
That’s truly the hallmark of integrated care and a sure-fire way to help improve the overall quality of care that a health system provides. Information should be available via the web for ease of access but in a way that still protects patient data.
But if you’ve been in this industry for any length of time, you know that the reality of structured reporting often falls short of the ideal, which can leave physicians without critical pieces of information that may affect patient care.
Quicker results may bring better care
Fortunately, electronic health records systems and products such as McKesson Cardiology™ CVIS have matured to the point where structured records delivered by the web can be the norm, allowing secure remote access to patient care and test results as soon as they are uploaded. With instantaneous reporting capabilities, a physician in his office can access health system servers remotely from his office computer or from a laptop. This can save the physician time and provide quicker access to test and scan data.
Referring physicians can track patient progress in near real time, instead of waiting days for reports. Derek Clark, application administrator for Shannon Medical Center and the 200-provider Shannon Clinic, recently noted how McKesson Cardiology has brought their data together in one surgical system. “You can pull up a (patient) name and see every cardio-related test without worrying that other tests were performed, whether in the hospital or clinic,” Clark said. “It provides one picture of the patient in one spot – regardless of who the physician is.”
You know how busy your physicians are. We’ve heard that lament time and again from hospital executives as they search for any way to help their physicians be more productive. A recent study from the Commonwealth Fund found that older Americans are the sickest among 10 industrialized nations. More than half take four or more medications daily and nearly 70% are living with two or more chronic conditions.
But did you know that 11,000 Baby Boomers become eligible for Medicare every day? So it’s no wonder we hear about physicians being inundated with patients, which spreads them thin and places extreme pressure on their valuable time.
The attitudes among younger physicians regarding work/life balance mirror those of other Millennials, generally defined as those born from the early 1980s. Overall, physicians are logging fewer hours because they want time for family, friends and other pursuits. In other words, they want lives outside the hospital, the clinic or their practices. It’s no wonder that hospitals are actively searching for tools to help physicians save time or become more efficient.
We are firmly committed to meeting the needs of cardiologists and physicians – wherever they are – with the functionality of in-office systems. For example, McKesson Cardiology™ ECG Mobile for iPad® and iPhone® is a full-featured resting ECG reporting platform that allows physicians to complete their daily resting ECG reading tasks. Of course, multiple layers of security can safeguard PHI and allows only authorized users.
That’s the beauty of structured web reporting, bringing the right information to physicians at the right time and in the right way so they can make informed decisions; then go about the rest of their day.