Having an EMR system brings to a healthcare organisation an integrated system. However, it may not suit individual department needs or workflows, an industry expert has warned.
Speaking at the recent Australian Healthcare Week in Sydney, Sydney Local Health District Assistant District Director of Pharmacy and CPIO Rosemary Burke said in the chase to adopt EMR, many organisations end up having multiple electronic systems within an organisation.
“Do you go for a best-of-breed system where the functionality is tailored to the environment where it is working, its business needs and workflow for a fairly easy for user adoption?” she questioned.
“But then it gets challenging when you have a number of silos within an organisation, in addition to the silos that exist between the hospital sector and the community sector. Terminologies and functionalities can be different as well, so it can be very confusing.”
According to Burke, many healthcare organisations traditionally went with best-of-breed systems as automation of care and electronic systems were about creating electronic health records and providing comprehensive views of patient data.
But going forward, Burke stressed the need for systems that all talk to each other, address data leaks and provide analysis of patient data.
“The use of multiple systems aren’t usually strategically planned. Some are led by clinicians, while others are led by the organisation. And sometimes, as things develop, the other groups weren’t even aware of these system developments,” she said.
“Access and handover of care become a challenge. Healthcare practitioners don’t understand the complexity of the various systems, resulting in complex workflows and duplicated data in multiple systems.
“There’s also fragmentation of patient information, which becomes a safety concern.”
[Read more: Monash Health and SCHS commence EMR rollouts | SA Health upgrades its EMR system following review]
As such, Burke suggested that EMR implementations should be done in accordance of the needs of an organisation and include:
- A system that speaks the same language, and have the same character-field limits
- A secure, integrated system that works across the entire organisation
- Staff training across the entire organisation
“What we need to do is create seamless continuity of care across the organisation; enable systems for patient safety, quality and outcomes; and have systems where we can extract data from so that we end up with better analytics, better research and better outcomes for our patients,” she said.