Healthcare industry still embracing EDM

April 24th, 2013 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document and Information Capture | Document Management | Information Management

Healthcare organizations around the world have embraced electronic document management (EDM) solutions not only to drive down costs and increase efficiency, but also to enable other clinics within the network to share information more easily. By utilizing a digital system, doctors are able to rapidly retrieve patient files, driving a more consistent experience and optimized treatment between doctors' offices.

The Westmoreland Gazette reported that a new EDM program has gone live in Westmorland, England, linking communications between Furness Hospital and social care services across the county. This will allow patients to experience the benefits of a seamless connection between the hospital and the community following medical treatment. Brenda Chambers, county manager for Adult Social Care, told the source that she is optimistic about the digital system.

"This is a real step forward towards a completely paperless system that tracks people's transition from Acute and Community Hospitals back to the community," she explained to the newspaper. "It enables agencies to work together with shared information to produce better assessments, support and outcomes for people as they return home."

The next step of this initiative will enable Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust (CPFT) providers to refer clients to social services, the source noted. Leanne Cooper, service manager for acute and emergency medicine at the Morecambe Bay trust, said that this transformation will allow for an entirely auditable, electronic patient history. This, she explained, can help to build on best practices for physician communications that better supports patients' needs in an effective, timely manner.

Optimizing the technology
TCPalm revealed that Florida's Martin Health has achieved Stage Six on the HIMSS electronic medical records adoption model for the digital system it strategically implemented in 2011. Ed Collins, vice president and chief information officer for Martin Health System, told the source that the electronic solution has played a major role in an overall commitment to enhancing the quality and efficiency of patient care. In order to be awarded a Stage Six status, staff had to create strategic alignments with the software to effectively leverage the digital technology for optimal patient data protection. Once employees demonstrated best practices for information security with the system, Martin Health had to prove that it was well positioned to provide data to stakeholders, such as consumers, employers and payers to support the EDM environment and health information exchanges.

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