Health information technology can help hospitals to better coordinate care and improve patient safety, and give patients better access to their health records. The most common forms of health information technology are electronic medical records (EMRs) and social networking.
Electronic Medical Record innovations
EMRs have been proven to reduce paperwork, decrease the number of unnecessary tests and procedures, and reduce medical errors. In the past, medical data was stored only on paper, making it difficult for your health care providers to share your information.
Over the past several years, Children’s Health℠ has switched from paper records to electronic medical records, and has been using its EMR system to improve patient care.
The most recent EMR innovations at Children’s Health include:
- Introduction of embedded clinical pathways into hospital workflows. These clinical pathways decreased variation in care, which improved patient outcomes and quality of care, particularly for patients with bronchiolitis, asthma and appendicitis.
- Improvements in compliance with clinical guideline recommendations, including education, easy-to-use order sets, and data sharing to support clinical pathways
- Use of multiple strategies for engaging patients and their families in their own care using EMRs:
- Offering a customized online experience for patients and families that allows them to connect with one another through social media, communicate with clinicians via direct messaging, and provide physicians with clinically-relevant data through remote care logs
- Introduction of Personal Health Records (PHRs) that have the capacity to receive and collect health information from multiple locations into a single electronic HealthVault controlled by the consumer (this project is still in the pilot stage and has not yet been fully implemented.)