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Making connections: Maximizing the value of EMR, ERP and ECM investments

Susan deCathelineau, Vice President of Healthcare Sales and Service, Hyland, creator of OnBase
Susan deCathelineau, Vice President of Healthcare Sales and Service, Hyland, creator of OnBase

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.

Making the connection

The patient lifecycle starts with a referral and/or registration. Besides basic patient info, copies of insurance and identification cards are captured. Then the patient sees a clinician, where tests are conducted, notes taken and treatment delivered. The data is routed to the billing department which sends it to insurance companies for reimbursement and patients for payment. This continuum contains a variety of data and content, why aren’t our IT systems connected in a similar manner?

OnBase by Hyland, an enterprise content management (ECM) solution, integrates with existing IT systems to deliver the unstructured content when it’s needed from within the EMRs and ERPs staff members already use and know. OnBase connects the identification and insurance card images with the discrete data in the EMR, creating a complete view of patient registration. Once in the exam room, clinicians have access to previous tests and notes from within the EMR, helping to make more informed care decisions.

The administrative and financial departments can more accurately code and bill for services because they have access to content from within the ERP.  This drives improvements in patient care and service while improving medical data management and reducing operational costs.

The value of integration

Integrating ECM, ERP and EMR systems supports Meaningful Use by establishing a complete, secure electronic patient record, heightening physician satisfaction by providing immediate access to relevant data and empowering more informed care for improved outcomes.

The integration also enables clinicians and staff to access information on mobile devices whether in the exam room or away from the office. Extend the value of your existing IT investments by integrating your ECM, EMR and ERP systems. Help create a more valuable IT network that aligns with the continuum of care, resulting in better outcomes, reduced costs and increased clinician and patient satisfaction.


ECM, electronic medical record, electronic resource planning, EMR, Enterprise content management, ERP, Hyland, OnBase by Hyland