Making connections: Maximizing the value of EMR, ERP and ECM investments
As we strive towards achieving Meaningful Use, it’s critical for clinicians and administrators to have access to the right information at the right time. This is increasingly difficult as more information is stored in more disparate systems and IT sprawl continues unabated. We provide multidisciplinary integrated care, shouldn’t our health IT systems connect in the same manner?
Where the data resides
Information is either structured (discrete data like name, address, phone number) or unstructured (lab results, X-rays, MRIs and CT scans) and then classified as administrative, financial and clinical information. Structured financial and administrative content is stored in an electronic resource planning (ERP) system. Structured clinical data is stored in the electronic medical record (EMR). Unstructured clinical, administrative and financial data resides inside an enterprise content management solution. Since these three systems are capable of capturing, storing and processing most, if not all, information in a healthcare organization, it only makes sense to unite these systems.
However, in most instances, information resides outside core health information technology (HIT) applications throughout the healthcare organization. As a result, clinicians and staff rarely have the information they need at the moment they need it. These images and content are often scattered throughout the EMR, unavailable in the exam room, stored in a paper record or not described in a standard format.
Although we have a healthcare continuum from registration through billing, our IT systems are designed to serve the niche demands of individual departments.