A leading task of every healthcare organization is to deliver the best possible care to improve patient health outcomes. That is why these medical establishments look for ways to improve their performance. A suitable option is to rely on electronic health record (EHR) solutions since these interventions rely on technology and innovation to meet patient needs. Thus, this assignment will focus on Alpha and analyze what EHRs can help the organization improve its performance and provide patients with enhanced care.
The assignment focuses on Alpha, a 150-bed hospital, that offers versatile services to its patients. The organization consists of a few departments, including outpatient surgery, orthopedic surgery, women’s health, pediatrics, cardiology, emergency department, and other clinics. Consequently, the healthcare organization provides many services and deals with much paper documentation and electronic scheduling systems, which denotes that a comprehensive EHR is needed. The innovative system should meet the needs of healthcare professionals and patients since an EHR can only be considered successful if it contributes to improvements for these stakeholders. Employees should be provided with assistance to complete their tasks better and faster, while patients should meet improved care.
Applications: Health Informatics
Specific health informatics applications should be present in an EHR for Alpha. To begin with, one should explain that health informatics relies on technology to improve healthcare services, organization management, and strategic planning (Chapter 3, n.d.). Firstly, an EHR should rely on a computerized provider order entry (CPOE). This application facilitates decision-making since it compiles the results of diagnostic tests and transfers them into EHRs (Chapter 9, n.d.). Secondly, a patient-provider portal is required because it contributes to secure communication among all the stakeholders (Chapter 9, n.d.). Healthcare professionals can track patients’ behavior and treatment adherence, while the latter can use the application to see their test results and view comments.
The suggested applications should satisfy particular requirements to be effective. As for the CPOE system, it should provide data on a real-time basis so that healthcare professionals deal with current information. A patient-provider portal should be designed so that patients and medical workers can easily access it and find the required information. This description demonstrates that the applications should meet the standards of interoperability and user-centered design, which is highlighted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) (Chapter 9, n.d.). Consequently, one should admit that these requirements adhere to applicable regulations.
The two suggested applications should be implemented because they offer significant functionality. The CPOE system extracts data from various laboratory information systems and analyzes test results to offer suggestions according to clinical guidelines. Consequently, a healthcare professional can view electronic data gathered from different systems, which denotes that paper documentation is not needed. The patient-provider portal enables communication “between the healthcare provider and the patient, just the providers, or the provider and the payer” (Chapter 9, n.d., p. 209). One can state that this application is suitable for making patient care alerts or reminders.
Secondary data is needed to make an EHR system more comprehensive. This data type includes various registries, indices, and specific databases (Chapter 2, n.d.). The description above has indicated that the CPOE system should be connected to laboratory databases and extract information from them. These details are necessary since they allow for making conclusions about patients’ health, which, in turn, will promote better decision-making to provide these individuals with optimal care.
Applications: Health Information Exchange
The given applications actively promote health information exchange in healthcare. On the one hand, the CPOE system facilitates information sharing among various departments. This process provides healthcare professionals with sufficient data to make diagnoses and offer treatment to patients. On the other hand, the patient-provider portal enables communication among various stakeholders. The two applications imply that information is sent and received online, which denotes that no paper documentation is required.
All EHRs are subject to internal and external security threats that require specific attention. Internal challenges come from stakeholders who can disclose credentials or any confidential information to different people. Introducing cybersecurity education is a suitable option to prevent this issue. As for external threats, they imply that criminals may want to access the EHR without permission. That is why the offered applications should rely on firewalls and encryption to guarantee that confidential information is protected. These two interventions have proved their effectiveness in increasing cybersecurity.
Applications: Disaster and Recovery Planning
It is necessary to predict that an unexpected challenge can significantly damage the entire EHR. That is why an organization should develop a disaster recovery plan to understand how to protect sensitive information. Creating data backups is an effective strategy because this approach implies that copies of system data are regularly created to ensure that it can be easily restored, which denotes that patient information is adequately protected.
Applications: Computer-Assisted Coding
Specific computer-assisted coding processes will be included in the applications. The CPOE system will rely on scanning and transmitting laboratory test results so that the data is appropriate for online use. The patient-provider portal typically relies on secure e-mail, which implies that messages are coded before they are sent. Thus, these approaches are additional steps to increase the ease of use and security of confidential information.
The scanning will ensure that healthcare professionals deal with digital information, which contributes to faster and more convenient information processing. That is why medical workers will be provided with sufficient assistance to make correct decisions. In turn, secure e-mail is also beneficial because it allows the stakeholders to share information freely without any fear that it can be stolen. Consequently, this feature promotes the spread of the continuum of care.
Chapter 2. (n.d.). Information integrity and data quality [PDF document].
Chapter 3. (n.d.). Introduction to databases and data analytics [PDF document].
Chapter 9. (n.d.). Electronic health record [PDF document].