Beyond EHRs: Clinical Archiving Delivers a New Wave of Healthcare IT Value

A May 2016 report by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology shows the rapid adoption of EHRs in non-Federal acute care hospitals across the United States from 2008-2015.*

Some of the findings include:

  1. State-level hospital adoption of Basic EHR systems was 80% or higher in 35 states in 2015, whereas no states in 2011 had hospital Basic EHR adoption rates at 80% or higher.
  2. In 2015, 84% of hospitals adopted at least a Basic EHR system; this represents a 9-fold increase since 2008.
  3. Nearly all reported hospitals (96%) possessed a certified EHR technology in 2015.
EHR adoption

Percent of non-Federal acute care hospitals with adoption of at least a Basic EHR with notes system and possession of a certified EHR: 2008-2015

The report concludes that the “adoption of EHRs among non-federal acute care hospitals is nearly universal” and that “the adoption of certified EHR systems may be plateauing.” Importantly, “efforts that have focused on EHR adoption now are shifting to interoperability of health information, and the use of health information technology to support care delivery system reform.”

The management of historical patient data provides a case in point.

Harmonizing Historical Patient Data through Clinical Archiving

Over the course of patients’ lifetimes, they develop a number of historical records across multiple clinical and departmental systems (radiology, cardiology, pathology, and so on). For a clinician, one challenge in providing effective care is having insight into all of a patient’s previous medical information in order to inform a diagnosis or treatment. With historical medical records scattered across systems, clinicians typically cannot easily gain insight into a patient’s comprehensive medical history, which slows care or can even lead to misdiagnosis or treatment.

This is a prime example of where interoperability of healthcare information can support delivery system reform.

For healthcare organizations that have moved to robust EHRs and are grappling with patient data from older systems, Clinical Archiving provides a cost-effective solution to decommission legacy clinical systems and compliantly retain inactive patient information using a single repository (the InfoArchive platform from Dell EMC).

Clinical Archiving does more than just consolidate historical patient data into one place. First, it harmonizes data from various systems and formats into a common format that is easier for clinicians to consume, such as eliminating inconsistencies between data names and dates. Second, it provides a single portal that healthcare providers can tailor to surface all historical patient data according to clinicians’ needs. For example, rather than having to search multiple older systems to gain a complete picture of a patient over time, Clinical Archiving lets clinicians easily view all historical, consistently formatted data in one place using either a snapshot or timeline view.

A Snapshot View of Historical Patient Data

The snapshot view provides summaries of patient data (such as allergies, immunizations, family history, social history, etc.) that the clinician can view and then click to explore in more detail.

Clinical Archiving snapshot view

Snapshot View of historical patient data

A Timeline View of Historical Patient Data

The timeline view presents the clinician with a chronological view of the patient’s medical history, also allowing the clinician to click and view specific records from the patient’s medical history.

Clinical Archiving Timeline View

Timeline view of historical patient data

Encounter Summary and Drilldown

When a clinician clicks “Encounters,” the clinician sees a list of encounters as shown below. He or she can click one encounter and Clinical Archiving shows the clinical documents for that encounter. This helps clinicians quickly find the information needed to treat their patients.

Clinical Archiving Encounters view

The Encounters view in Clinical Archiving

 

Clinical Archiving Encounters drilldown

Encounters drilldown

By consolidating all historical patient data into one easily accessible place and providing a user-friendly interface to access that information, clinicians are empowered to provide improved patient care.

Clinical Archiving also gives healthcare information management (HIM) staff tools that increase the value of care. For example, the solution lets HIM staff easily respond to requests for releases of information by letting them export or print all or parts of patients’ archived medical information.

In addition, HIM staff can easily amend documents in patients’ archives by adding just a single record to a patient’s medical history rather than bundling amendments that must be made together. The solution also lets HIM staff configure and enforce a patient’s preferences for privacy, such as by setting limits on which providers are allowed to view specific medical records.

These are just a few examples of how Clinical Archiving is ushering in the next phase of healthcare IT reform through the support of care delivery reform.

Flatirons is pleased to be a partner in the development and delivery of solutions built on the InfoArchive platform such as Clinical Archiving, and we invite you to explore how Clinical Archiving can advance care within your organization.

Learn more about Clinical Archiving.

Source: Henry, J., Pylypchuk, Y., Searcy T. & Patel V. (May 2016). Adoption of Electronic Health Record Systems among U.S. Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals: 2008-2015. ONC Data Brief, no.35. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology: Washington DC.