3 Tips to Integrate EHR with Clinical Communication and Collaboration Tools
Healthcare systems looking to remedy the fatigue brought on by unwieldy electronic health records systems and mounting staff shortages can explore how the integration of clinical communication and collaboration tools modernize their workflows and ultimately enhance patient care.
At a foundational level, CC&C tools integrated into an EHR system improve convenience for a care team by enabling them to view messages from and respond back to multiple members, says Dr. Allen Hsiao, chief medical information officer for Yale New Haven Health and the Yale School of Medicine.
“The ability to drag and drop chart results you want other clinicians to see, or group messaging where all care team members are in the loop, are great time-saving tools,” Hsiao says. “The key is to build functionality that allows people to prioritize the messages. For example, you can see the doctor’s status is writing orders, so they don’t get interrupted when they are in certain parts of the chart.”
Mobile functionality, such as speech recognition technology and the ability to write orders, is also important, he adds, but he would like to see improved status markers.
“What is really missing for most vendors in this space is the on-call versus off-duty functionality, and that is something we struggle with. It’s not nearly as robust as it needs to be,” Hsiao says. “Doctors feel so burned out because even when they’re not on call, people are still messaging them.”
CC&C tools integrated into EMRs also offer smart alerts, which can notify users as soon as new data hits a patient’s chart, and discharge planning.