Information exchange between health care providers with a common patient is vital. When doctors are able to communicate with each other, they are less likely to perform duplicate treatments, prescribe conflicting medication or miss an obvious detail in the patient’s health record.
Today, people are more connected than they have ever been, but more work is necessary to connect physicians who are concerned with the health of the same patient.
The goals of health information exchange
A health information exchange (HIE) strategy isn’t just a nice thing to have – it’s a regulation that providers must adhere to, or risk a legal injunction from the federal government.
According to The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the primary goals of HIE are to increase the interoperability of health information technology, build trust among patient populations and decrease the costs of inter-physician communication.
A clinical documentation improvement (CDI) strategy plays into some of these same goals. With improved clinical documentation, organizations can better track patients within the continuum of care, provide accurate treatment, and even receive financial benefits from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS).
It all boils down to improving patient outcomes. When communication between provider organizations and independent physicians is clear, thorough and fast, patients are more likely to receive the best care possible.
The consequences of communication breakdown
When patient information isn’t communicated properly during a transition of care visit, the results can be life-threatening. If, for example, a patient’s test results aren’t properly transmitted to a state-level repository, another doctor may never find them.
The physician blog KevinMD reported on one such case: A patient with textbook angina pectoris was given acid reflux medication instead of nitroglycerin because a cardiologist failed to document test results and a locum tenens doctor was misled by the inaccurate chart.
Humans are prone to mistakes, and it’s impossible to track and correct all inaccurate documentation by hand. With improved technology, physicians can prevent information from disappearing and ensure that each relevant stakeholder has the necessary access to a patient’s information.
The benefits of tailored information exchange technology
Caring for a patient within the continuum of care is easier with health information exchange technology that brings providers together in a collaborative community. Tailored solutions can help your practice send, receive, store and access pertinent patient information when it’s needed.
These solutions also improve patient care by freeing physicians to focus on what they do best. The priority should be treating patients, not managing technology. With custom information exchange solutions, practices can better serve their communities.
In fact, Tangible Solutions and Georgia Health Connect recently partnered to achieve many of the health information exchange goals mentioned here.
To learn more about how tailored technology from Tangible Solutions can empower your organization and improve patient outcomes, contact us today.