Four Ways Real-Time Patient Flow Extends the Value of Your EMR

Over the last little while, we’ve been discussing various uses cases and some of the results hospitals are seeing from real-time patient flow combined with visual analytics. These solutions help healthcare organizations monitor, manage and continually improve the way patients move through ambulatory clinics, emergency departments and operating suites.

As we get ready for Epic UGM (September 19 to 22, 2016 in Verona, Wisconsin), it seemed like a good opportunity to look at how patient flow integration to the EMR generates even more value for hospitals:

  • Fast, efficient check-in. When a patient is checked into the EMR, basic patient information and his/her badge ID can be sent to the patient flow solution, which automates the check-in process, supports a higher patient volume, and reduces errors and wait times. The patient flow solution then provides continuous updates on the patient’s location, status and interactions.  This information can be used to improve immediate operational decision making and/or analyzed to understand underlying trends for process improvement and ultimately develop predictive modeling to anticipate patient loads and staffing and resource needs.
  • Schedule smarter. EMR-patient flow integration creates vast possibilities to apply an evidence-based approach in a new area: physician / provider scheduling. By collecting and analyzing data about actual provider-patient encounters, an organization can begin making much wiser choices about how many patients to schedule and how much time to allow for each. What’s more, through visual analytics, providers can see how their own patient flow patterns compare with those of their peers, and can make adjustments as needed to improve patient experience and operational efficiency.
  • ‘Operate’ efficiently. Although surgical services are a key revenue source for most hospitals, many lack in-depth insights into current performance and opportunities to improve. A real-time patient flow solution can help provide much-needed visibility for improving OR workflows and communications. With the integration of RTLS and EMR data, hospitals can now analyze procedure times, surgery start times, patient types and surgeon variations to provide a greater understanding of operational and patient care performance.
  • Workflow automation. With real-time patient location information available in Epic, previously manual processes are now automated to support more accurate and reliable documentation, which allows care-givers to focus on patient care.  For example, OR milestones are automatically updated based on a patient’s current location—when the patient moves from the OR suite to PACU, the patient status changes to in recovery—or transfers are completed when a patient moves from the ED to an in-patient unit.

These are just some of the benefits that hospitals are deriving from their patient flow to EMR integration. If you happen to be attending Epic UGM, let’s carry on the discussion in person. Or leave us a comment on how real-time data could improve the effectiveness of your EMR.  

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