Are you only seeing half your patient?

Hyland Software Inc

Friday, 01 September, 2017

Complete patient picture

To fully achieve meaningful use of electronic medical records (EMRs), healthcare providers must give their clinicians secure, real-time or near real-time access to their patients’ complete medical records. To that end, healthcare providers must be able to easily access images. Doing so helps clinicians make better informed, more timely decisions – which, ultimately, improves the quality, safety and efficiency of care.

The real-world challenge, however, is aggregating all the relevant data – structured and unstructured data, such as the images, referrals and clinician notes captured across an enterprise’s multiple departments and stored in an assortment of data repositories. Often, these various systems are not integrated, rendering them as ‘silos of information’ that require end-users to log into each individual system in order to access the data. The rapid adoption of mobile devices to capture patient data has added another layer of complexity. And the proliferation of different types of information – including DICOM content, JPEG images on smartphones, PDF documents, MPEG videos and paper-based documents – further taxes IT systems because they exist in incompatible forms. EMRs manage discreet data, but they cannot capture and manage all of the data flowing in and out of an enterprise.

Michael Gray, principal of Gray Consulting, offered a clinical content strategy to address these challenges. In his briefing ‘Greater Patient and Provider Satisfaction with an Enterprise-Enabled Patient Record’, Gray highlights how leading healthcare organisations are implementing a strategy that focuses on a data management solution to both manage and provide access to unstructured data by housing it in a secure repository and creating an infrastructure to better support a clinician’s access to the patient’s complete medical record.

EMR limitations

Today’s EMRs lack the capability to manage large volumes of unstructured data. Nor do they have the ability to display this data, including medical imaging data – DICOM and non-DICOM images. As a result, clinicians must conduct individual searches to view structured data via multiple viewing applications, engaging in separate, lengthy sessions to view images from multiple systems that creates an inefficient and disruptive clinical workflow.

The biggest problem is the lack of a single enterprise data repository to simplify searches for all data, structured and unstructured. Currently, a vendor-neutral archive (VNA) manages medical images from PACS departments, non-PACS workstations and mobile devices, while an enterprise content management (ECM) system manages unstructured data, including reports, scanned documents, care summaries, lab results, prescriptions, etc. What we want is one system that combines those capabilities.

Future state technology? Not anymore!

The ideal technology is a single data management solution to manage all content in their native format, essentially serving as a single archive within a single software solution. Data flows across the enterprise from imaging departments, PACS and non-PACs workstations into this data management solution – uploading studies either as they’re performed or immediately upon completion. Other data – including scanned documents associated with the studies as well as the electronic forms and care summaries generated by department and administrative staff – also flows into the solution during and/or after data reconciliation and quality control. For a meaningful impact on the quality and cost of care, clinicians would then have immediate access to all of this clinically significant information.

Hyland’s OnBase ECM solution is a single data management solution that combines VNA and ECM functionality. The solution manages all content – unstructured and structured – so that authorised users may access complete medical records from any device, anytime, anywhere. With the OnBase ECM solution, clinicians no longer have to set up searches and wait for results. It automatically aggregates all of the available information related to a patient’s episode.

By combining the functionality of a VNA and an ECM, OnBase creates a more efficient clinical workflow supporting more accurate, timely and patient-centered treatment. Ultimately, according to Gray, by providing clinicians with access to patients’ completed medical record – the enterprise-enabled medical record – healthcare organisations drive greater patient and provider satisfaction.

OnBase ECM gives you the complete patient picture.

Learn more at

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