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99% of Healthcare Organizations Fully Access EHR System Remotely

Nearly all surveyed clinicians can access their EHR system from outside the hospital network, according to CHIME’s 2018 Most Wired report.

Nearly all clinicians access their EHR systems remotely, according to CHIME's Most Wired survey.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Ninety-nine percent of surveyed clinicians can fully access their EHR systems remotely, according to CHIME’s Most Wired National Trends 2018 report.

CHIME surveyed 618 healthcare organizations to gain insight into each organization’s strategies for approaching health IT adoption, development, and optimization.

While past Most Wired research has focused primarily on measuring health IT adoption to showcase organizations with advanced health IT infrastructure, this year’s survey was designed to help healthcare organizations identify potential gaps in health IT adoption and use.

“Each participating organization received a benchmarking report to help them assess their strengths and gaps, but we wanted to go beyond just the participants,” explained Most Wired Board of Governors chair William Spooner. “The trends report is designed to help any healthcare organization identify opportunities to improve and advance our industry.”

Key areas highlighted in the survey include integration and interoperability, security and disaster recovery, population health management and value based care, and patient engagement and telehealth.

CHIME’S exploration of integration and interoperability examined health data sharing, communication, health IT use, and health data access among hospitals and health systems.

“As healthcare adopts and leverages new technologies, it is becoming increasingly complex to maintain an ecosystem in which data can be reliably shared,” explained authors in the report. “Poor communication between disparate systems can be one of the greatest impediments to clinicians being able to access the information necessary to provide effective patient care.”

EHR-integrated health IT designed to enable remote patient data access and emergency alerts can help to streamline timely information delivery to caregivers.

“Having a surveillance solution integrated with an EHR can provide further benefits, since bidirectional communication between these systems results in real-time data and alerts can be sent more quickly than with batched data,” stated authors.

According to CHIME’s research, 58 percent of surveyed healthcare organizations can send EHR-integrated alerts from surveillance systems to critical care units. Fifty-six percent of survey participants send EHR-integrated alerts to general medical-surgical units, while 51 percent send alerts to step-down units.

“While clinical surveillance can be a powerful tool to help clinicians quickly identify critical patient conditions, such as sepsis, 35% of organizations do not have an electronic surveillance system in place,” stated CHIME.

Adoption of remote access capabilities is considerably more common among surveyed healthcare organizations.

Almost all surveyed healthcare organizations enable clinicians to fully access their EHR systems remotely.

“Nearly all participating organizations report that at least 95% of their clinicians regularly access clinical information electronically,” wrote authors. “This includes medical history, nurse notes, order sets, care plans, diagnostic study results, operative reports, medication reconciliation, discharge instructions, care plans, and clinical summaries.”

Nearly all physicians can also access their healthcare organization’s CPOE, clinical guidelines, medical images, and evidence references while in the hospital or clinic.

“However, only about half of physicians can access these same resources via mobile applications,” noted authors. “Adoption of secure messaging also lags behind other remote access functions; both represent opportunities for the industry to advance the current communication infrastructure.”

Specifically, 74 percent of surveyed healthcare organizations use secure messaging, while 72 percent use secure texting to communicate.

The exchange of continuity of care documents (CCDs) between healthcare organizations is nearly universal in part due to meaningful use, which included requirements pertaining to CCD sharing.

Ninety-four percent of surveyed healthcare organizations can receive data in some form from CCDs, and 97 can send data to CCDs.

“Most of the organizations who report that their EHR can consume discrete data are receiving the data from external hospitals and physician practices,” stated CHIME. “Exchange of discrete data with home health and skilled nursing facilities is lagging.”

Sixty-percent of surveyed healthcare organizations receive discrete data directly into their EHR systems from skilled nursing facilities, chronic care facilities, and home health agencies.

Overall, survey findings indicated interoperability is steadily improving across healthcare organizations.  

“By investing in robust infrastructures that can support and facilitate communication in the complex healthcare environment, organizations can make better data-driven decisions and achieve greater outcomes,” wrote authors.

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