Electronic Health Records

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KY Health System Launches Epic EHR Tool to Cut Patient Delays

Kentucky-based Baptist Health launched an Epic EHR tool to decrease length of stays and expedite patient discharges.

Epic, Cerner, and Allscripts have recently extended and forged new contracts.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Baptist Health in Lexington, Kentucky recently launched an Epic EHR tool designed to help patients through the discharge process faster and decrease length of stay.

The Discharge Readiness tool allows providers to identify common, non-medical problems providers may run into during the discharge process. Baptist Health case managers, physicians, and nurses use a checklist integrated into Epic EHR to answer basic questions about patients ready for discharge and identify potential barriers that may crop up when preparing the patient to head home.

Providers are prompted through the Discharge Readiness tool to determine whether patients have the necessary medical devices, medications, and transportation to transition out of the hospital. After identifying potential barriers in the discharge process, nurses can work to arrange solutions for patients with logistical issues keeping them at the hospital.

Using the EHR tool, Baptist Health providers have so far been able to decrease the length of stay for patients by about half a day and reduce the average time between providers placing discharge orders and patients leaving the hospital by about 30 minutes.

Patients that visit Baptist Health locations in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois also have the option to view their health information through the Apple Health Records EHR data viewer.

The Health Records feature allows patients to access their complete health information across multiple providers in a single view using their personal iOS devices.

UT Medical Center Using Specialty Clinical Workflows to Boost Cerner EHR Usability

Elsewhere in health IT, the University of Tennessee (UT) Medical Center recently announced it has renewed its contract with TransformativeMed to allow providers to access specialty clinical workflows within UT Medical Center’s Cerner EHR system.

UT Medical Center has been using TransformativeMed’s specialty CORE clinical workflows since 2013. The medical center will extend its contract with the health IT developer to use specialty clinical workflows across up to 650 beds.

As part of the contract, UT Medical Center providers will also have access to CORES mobile applications, due for release later this year.

The suite of specialty clinical workflows directly integrates into Cerner EHR to improve EHR usability for users and streamline communication and collaboration between clinicians. Clinical workflows are organized and presented in unique formats suited to each specialty’s individual priorities.

“Physician burnout fueled in part by turning highly-valued physicians into data entry specialists must be addressed,” said TransformativeMed President and CEO Doug Cusick. “We applaud organizations like UT Medical Center who proactively listen to the needs of their clinicians and take steps with solutions like CORES to bring the joy back into patient care.”

By continuing to offer providers specialized clinical workflows, UT Medical Center will reduce the amount of time providers spend searching for specific patient data and manually entering redundant information into patient health records.

Allscripts Business, NextGen Healthcare Enter Partnership

Allscripts-owned Veradigm has entered into a partnership with NextGen Healthcare to streamline workflows for healthcare providers and improve data sharing with health plans, life insurance companies, labs, and research organizations.

Veradigm offers integrated healthcare data systems and services, while NextGen healthcare provides ambulatory-focused health IT solutions. Through their new partnership, the health IT solutions providers plan to improve research-enabled capabilities for healthcare organizations and optimize care plans for patients.

“This partnership further modernizes our healthcare system by safely unlocking healthcare data to benefit the consumer, provider and supporting organizations,” said NextGen Healthcare Chief Solutions Officer and Executive Vice President John Beck.

“Streamlining data exchange reduces the burden on practices by automating the transfer of patient charts and the exchange of lab orders and results,” Beck concluded.

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