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The Internal Communications Between the EHR and the Portal

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Back to the case of EHRs, it seems that most EHRs provide some extent of basic internal communication functionality, but not much that can be used for organization-wide communication tasks. For example, many hospitals on Meditech Magic previously published Policies and Procedures via Mox, but as more and more Meditech clients are upgrading to 6.0 and beyond, the removal of Mox has left them with a need for electronic Policy Management. Particularly with so many hospitals reevaluating their EHR vendor and making changes, intranets are used extensively to support project management and implementation of a new system by publishing FAQs and role-specific workflow how-tos as well as collaborating on project documents. In other cases, we pull EHR data into the intranet as we have for a Census Board for one CPSI client and an OR Reservation System for another.

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Not surprisingly, using EHR to communicate with patients wasn’t most practices’ main focus when initially switching away from paper records. “At first, the big government push was just to get everyone using electronic health records,” notes Ms. Rapuano. “At that point we were all trying to get our patient data into electronic form and arranging to send in prescriptions electronically, things like that, so that we could comply with the regulations. It wasn’t clear that it was improving patient care; it was more about checking off a box for the quality program requirements. A lot of doctors referred to this as ‘meaningless use.’ ”

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At Cantata Health, we want to empower the physician to utilize the EHR in the best way possible that fits his or her workflow. As more modules and more tools become part of the EHR, this ability to customize how they integrate with each other will become more important in the near future. Physicians will need the ability to decide which parts of an EHR will allow them to improve their workflow and results. A one-size-fits-all solution is no longer acceptable. In the future, physicians will demand a flexible, adaptable, integrated EHR that prioritizes both internal and external operability

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Dunn AS, Markoff B. Physician-physician communication: what's the hang-up? J Gen Intern Med. 2009;24:437–9. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Foy R, Hempel S, Rubenstein L, Suttorp M, Seelig M, Shanman R, et al. Meta-analysis: Effect of Interactive Communication Between Collaborating Primary Care Physicians and Specialists. Ann Intern Med. 2010;152(4):247–58. Epub 2010/02/17. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

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Essay sample
The Internal Communications Between the EHR and the Portal
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