As hospitals and healthcare systems begin to prepare for changes in reimbursement and phase two of meaningful use, optimizing the investment in their EMR purchase will be essential. One of the most impactful ways to optimize an EMR, especially for physicians, is to provide value added tools within the EMR that incent them to use the EMR. Clinical decision support can assist in both optimizing the EMR but also drive efficiency throughout the system.
In the era of changing reimbursement, ACO, bundled payments, pay-for-outcome, it is critical to determine the patient’s diagnosis as soon as possible and get them on the appropriate treatment plan or guideline as soon as possible. It will be imperative to minimize readmissions, unnecessary testing and the costs associated with them-this starts with getting the diagnosis correct as soon as possible. Today, in 15-30% of the cases there is error or delay in reaching a diagnosis. Embedding, or providing access through the EMR to diagnosis decision support that can assist with constructing a differential can aid efficient performance.
Integration of diagnosis decision support can come in several ways from basic access to the tool where a clinician can benefit from the tool in a standalone mode to fully integrated where the clinician is provided feedback based on the data entered into the EMR. The point is that even in the most basic implementation, while not perfect, diagnosis decision support can assist in leveraging your EMR and more importantly help with reducing waste and unnecessary testing. Those that do not let perfection get in the way of improvement will be ahead of the game in the long run.
Don has over 30 years of experience working in the healthcare industry. He has led sales and marketing activities in organisations such as InformMed, LMS Medical and Cereplex Inc. before coming to Isabel in 2010.