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Summer traveling: A perfect reminder of why HIT interoperability is crucial

Michelle Maly, director of healthcare development Hyland, creator of OnBase
Michelle Maly, Director of Healthcare Development, Hyland, Creator of OnBase

It’s summer and I’ve made plans to travel with my family after an incredibly long Cleveland winter. My stereotypical developer personality can’t help but think logically and prepare for every possible situation. For example, what happens if one of us gets sick or injured during our trip?

It makes me anxious to think about it, but what if I cut myself making a family-favorite meal, twist my ankle running on the beach or slip and fall around the pool? Will it ruin the vacation because we will inevitably spend an entire day in the hospital?

These worries recently came to fruition in North Carolina, when there were as many as six different shark attack incidents resulting in two teenagers needing emergency surgeries. 

Every second counts, access to information is critical

Assuming the shark attack victims were from out of the area, access to these individuals’ medical records could’ve made the lives of the physicians easier and potentially resulted in different treatment. Although I was not there to understand the specific needs of the physicians to provide care, situations similar to this could benefit from immediate availability of patients’ past medical histories.

When patients go to a new or different health system, their complete health records seldom accompany them. At HIMSS15, we proudly announced OnBase Anywhere, a feature that enables healthcare providers to exchange unstructured content – the 65 percent of content stored outside of the electronic medical record such as MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, lab results, EKG’s and more. With access to this information, clinicians and patients get a head start on the diagnosis and treatment process. This drives better care decisions and saves valuable time and money.

These situations make me proud to be a healthcare software developer – not only might I be able to save a family’s vacation, I can help save lives.

Share clinical content – electronically

Some EMRs facilitate information sharing, but the clinical content is limited. With a significant portion of patient information residing outside of the EMR, quite a bit of content is left out. In order to share this content with another health system, healthcare organizations must print, copy, scan, fax or deliver the information. This less-than-optimal practice adds expense and time – which in emergent situations, may be in short supply.

OnBase stores the clinical content that resides outside of your EMR in a secure, centralized, electronic repository. OnBase Anywhere makes it easy to request and securely share varied forms of clinical content, including documents, test results, chart notes – even DICOM or non-DICOM content – electronically with any of the other 1,800+ healthcare organizations that also use OnBase. The added functionality simply becomes a new feature in the EMR.

Provide a more complete patient record

Healthcare organizations within the OnBase community easily request patient records from one another, either by using a link within the EMR or through the OnBase Patient Window. OnBase Anywhere quickly and securely shares the requested information, providing clinicians with a more complete patient record – including results, reports and images, like CTs, MRIs and X-rays – in context with other relevant patient content.

This fingertip access to patient information supports more informed decisions empowering clinicians to provide more confident patient care – without having to order repeat tests and duplicative services, cutting costs.

Facilitate collaboration across health systems

OnBase Anywhere ensures that when a patient arrives at a new health system, so does their medical record. Current medications, allergies, lab results, X-rays and more is provided for the patient, rather than by the patient. This elevates the patient experience while having equal, simultaneous access to all clinical content encourages collaboration among clinicians. By making it easier to share information, OnBase Anywhere makes it easier to focus on patient care.

Because of our work around interoperability, we will hopefully help save lives, and family vacations, all over the world. Here’s to shark-free pool time!