Every month, Forerun distributes a monthly newsletter to our subscribers bringing the latest in Emergency Department News. Below is February's issue released earlier this month: you can sign up for our newsletter distribution list below.
Many EDs are plagued with long waiting times and delays, resulting in overcrowding causing patient and staff frustration. Yet the Emergency Department acts as a gateway to the rest of the hospital, including inpatient and ancillary services. Through this gateway the ED provides a significant amount of hospital revenue, as most inpatients come from the Emergency Department, and these emergency patients bring in greater revenue then elective admissions due to the greater severity in their condition.
By extending wait-times and length-of-stay while decreasing emergency department capacity, your EMR could be costing significant revenue, reducing patient satisfaction, and hurting quality measure performance. Here is how:
Lack of Portability. Many EMR's force providers to do all documentation at a PC, meaning more time away from the bedside. Potential solutions such as tablets and rolling workstations generally do not work well and have poor adoption. Such distance from patients decreases patient satisfaction dramatically, while hampering the ability of providers to remain as acutely aware of any patient issues and worsening quality of care.
Decreased Productivity. Most hospital EMR systems were not initially designed for the ED, ranging from the chart structure itself to only being able to chart only on a single patient at once. This inefficiency increases the amount of time providers have to spend charting, decreasing their productivity and increasing length-of-stay and wait-times, leading to decreased satisfaction and ED volumes.
Poor Communication. The nature of the ED requires real-time communication and interfaces with ancillary services and consultants. Many EMRs do not interface well with diagnostic services used by the ED, nor do they produce an instantly understandable chart for consultants to gather information, hurting communication of care and increasing potential liability.
Limited Customization. To create an effective EMR, an institution needs to customize the EMR for their needs. Larger IT system designs limit such customization, and in areas where customization is possible, many EMR companies provide customer services that is often reported as delayed, with any changes requiring significant re-training and downtime.
Physician in Triage (PIT). System limitations in larger EMR systems do not allow for efficient PIT documentation, which leads to redundant work and poor communication between the provider in triage and the physician ultimately responsible for the patient's care. This is a growing issue as more and more departments move towards a provider in triage to try to improve door-to-provider time and overall efficiency.
Generalized Documentation Issues. The look and feel of most EMRs are not user-friendly and have not improved much with the many changes that some hospital sites have tried to make. There are many fields in any given chart to click through, which is difficult and time-consuming, hampering productivity. Also, several hospitals have noted that it can take up to 8-16 seconds to load each diagnosis and with this real-time disincentive to chart all diagnoses, reimbursement suffers.
The FlexChart Solution
When patients and their clinical information flow efficiently through the Emergency Department, all aspects of care improve dramatically, including the quality of care and hospital revenue. Forerun, and its EMR product FlexChart, were designed by Emergency Physicians to be operationally efficient and maximize reimbursement, while seamlessly integrating with existing hospital systems. Using a SaaS model, FlexChart can easily overlay and serve a hospital system, rather than compete with it.
FlexChart was designed to allow physicians to chart efficiently through a combination of features. Its Anoto Digital pen technology allows physicians who prefer to still hand-write their chart to do so, allowing for simpler EMR transition and maximum physician time at the bedside. The data still gets immediately captured and translated electronically, without the decrease in productivity often seen with EMRs, because the intuitive design of the chart allows for extremely simple and rapid adoption. Plus, unlike classic template charts which are difficult to interpret, FlexChart translates the information into an easily understandable narrative, supporting communication with other physicians and services who later view the chart.
If you are looking to address any of the ED issues above and to enhance the productivity of your hospital's emergency department, request a personalized demonstration of FlexChart today.
Healthcare has seen many changes in the last 20 years, including capitation, physician practice acquisitions, and the overall privatization of healthcare despite greater reliance on government funding. With this evolution and recent changes implemented by the federal government, Becker's Hospital Review recently featured featured specific issues for hospital executives to focus on in 2013, with top hospital CFO Dan Moncher. While the list includes essentials for hospital financial and strategic planning, there are a few others that every hospital executive should be aware:
Emergency department systems are not usually topics of feature articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times - or even a segment on 60 minutes - until recently.
Every month, Forerun distributes a monthly newsletter to our subscribers bringing the latest in Emergency Department News. Below is January's issue released earlier this month: you can sign up for our newsletter distribution list below.