In part one of this blog post, we talked about the challenges that healthcare organizations, patients, and payers have encountered as people seek treatment and care for the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these patients are getting care in large hospital systems with a better capacity to treat the potentially deadly virus. But if they have never received care at that hospital, there is a significant gap in the information available to providers.
Those gaps, and the lack of simple and streamlined data sharing capabilities within clinics, can dramatically affect the care a person receives. In some cases, it leads to medical mistakes that could have been avoided with better information and data sharing. In other cases, it limits our ability to fight a deadly virus when we don’t share patient data and information that might help researchers looking into treatments and vaccines.
Critical Next Steps
While there isn’t one magic bullet that will fix these challenges, there are some steps that everyone—from small and independent clinics to larger hospital systems—can take to move toward better information sharing in healthcare.
- Integrate your own systems within your clinic. Data flow within your clinic should be as seamless as possible, and one of the ways to ensure that is to have a fully integrated practice management software within your clinic. An end-to-end solution allows everyone on your team to seamlessly share information from the first interaction of a patient with your clinic (scheduling) to the last interaction from each encounter (medical billing and claims processing).
- Allow patients access to their information. Another way clinics can help with data sharing is by offering patients an easy way to access their full medical records from anywhere. An advanced patient portal can give patients access to everything that’s in your EHR—lab results, tests, medical history, past exams, doctors’ notes, and more. Patients can instantly download and share the information with other providers if they go outside your system for care.
- Participate in HIEs. Find out how you can participate in health information exchanges (HIEs) in your state or region. You send data from your practice management system and EHR to a large, interconnected database, and other providers can find that information. So, for example, if a patient who goes to a hospital nearby, the hospital can find information about that person’s seasonal flu shot, last mammogram, and recent medical diagnoses that might impact their care.
Integrate Your Clinic Systems Today
Talk to AdvancedMD today to find out how you can integrate your clinic software systems today and take important steps toward data sharing and access for the future.