With the birth of healthcare IT solutions to increase the workflow within each healthcare organization comes the need for integration. Excellent communication skills between professionals, vendors, and different branches of the healthcare industry are imperative to smooth operations to ensure quality patient services. In fact, providing quality services to each patient relies on high quality interaction between the different healthcare professionals. As vital lab data is acquired from one department it is sent to another department for analysis before it makes its way back to the patient’s primary care physician. As such, electronic medical records provide one place to view pertinent medical and non-medical data for a specific patient.
EMR technology has united the healthcare industry with its integrative technology that enhances the speed at which information is transmitted from one professional to the next in a safe and effective manner. However, accurate communication has often been overlooked as an element that contributes to healthcare services. With this being said, there is no room for error, communication breakdowns, and technology incompatibility in the healthcare industry. EMR’s provide structure for transmitting information in a safe and effective manner. However, the issue presents itself when e-health systems are not able to “talk” with each other because they have not been fully integrated.
At least seventy-eight percent of Doctors are concerned about effective communication in healthcare settings, as show in a study entitled “Healthcare Without Bounds: Point of Care Communications for Physicians.” As such, physicians and hospitals have pooled together their efforts to try to bridge the gap in accurate communication techniques. According to Phyllis Albritton of Colorado Regional Health Information Organization, “It’s a lot of detailed, technical work to make these systems talk to each other when they have been built not to talk to each other.” This is especially true when combining the research-based developments of many healthcare IT companies. Electronic medical records have been very beneficial in the evolution of the healthcare industry, but we are now entering phase two where more work is required for smooth operations.
Currently, medical facilities such as hospitals may still be struggling with integrating new technology into their daily operations to meet high-demands placed on clinicians and support staff. Incidentally, approximately ninety-four percent of physicians are now using smart phones to communicate and manage healthcare workflow. Although this tremendously enhances quality care in medicine, more technological advances and tweaks may be needed to make this system fully functional between all healthcare physicians no matter where they are located. Many physicians and healthcare professionals are considered about the lack of universal standards and guidelines currently regulating electronic medical records and e-health breakthroughs. Because communication is the most crucial part of delivering quality medical services, electronic medical records will need to continue to evolve to meet today’s demanding market.