3 ways mobile devices optimize your EHR

Real-time data entry and visibility into patient status enhances care team collaboration and optimizes EHR workflows.

Over 85% of clinicians who are very satisfied with their organization’s electronic health record (EHR) are likely to stay with their current employer. With EHR satisfaction so directly tied to clinical retention, it follows that ensuring efficiency and ease of use supports a higher quality of care. In short, EHR optimization is critical. Today, mobile devices can offer direct access to the EHR from anywhere at any time. This means faster access to protected health information (PHI) and faster decision-making. Plus, real-time visibility into patient status and more immediate sharing of information across care teams helps create a better experience for all involved.

Imagine vitals captured and entered without leaving the patient’s side. Imagine a consult requested from your pocket, without having to know who is on the receiving end. Imagine charting as you go instead of in batches throughout the day and at the end of a shift. All of these things are possible when EHR workflows are optimized, and mobile is the critical conduit between workflow and EHR execution.

Read on for three ways that organizations are using mobile devices to do just this, today.

Real-time visibility into and update of PHI

Let’s talk about the status quo. A clinician meets with a patient, assesses the situation, and gathers information. Then they leave the room (hopefully without getting interrupted by something urgent) to find an available shared workstation (where they hopefully won’t have to wait for their turn). Then they log in (hopefully on their first attempt), enter information from their assessment, and get back to the patient later.

Rinse. Recycle. Repeat.

It’s not just that the clinician experiences a delay in sharing information, but the entire care team is delayed in getting visibility into patient status. Not the best use of anyone’s time, including the patient. Optimizing the EHR requires a continuous flow of information throughout the patient care cycle. Decisions need to be made in real time, without delay. Mobile devices more readily allow for data entry on the go – or better yet, from the bedside – so everyone gets what they need faster.

In a recent survey, Imprivata identified the top reasons clinicians were looking to increase their use of mobile workflows. Over 200 respondents made it clear that shared devices drive workflow efficiency and flexibility. Here are some of the survey findings:

  • 71% cited workflow efficiency as the driving factor behind mobile
  • 66% looked to mobile to improve clinical communications
  • 59% believed mobile was the key to better workflow flexibility and satisfaction

Unified communications for continuous care-team collaboration

All-in-one devices allow clinicians to easily integrate all the tools they need on their medical bandolier, reducing redundant technology and streamlining workflow. Clinicians can check a patient’s latest lab results, fire off a note to the attending physician, and enter necessary information into the patient’s chart without having to juggle devices, change rooms, or wait for the many moving parts of a busy hospital to align just right. Mobile devices make the ease of that seemingly impossible alignment a reality. And the more robust workflows they support, the happier clinicians are to use mobile technology in their workflows, naturally supporting optimization and adoption.

Recently, Northeast Georgia Health System shared their approach to optimizing communications and the EHR across their shared mobile environment. By switching to a digital identity-backed approach to managing shared mobile devices, Northeast Georgia was able to deliver a unified experience for their clinicians.

“Hospitals are notoriously dynamic environments. Clinicians are always moving around and changing roles,” explains Chris Paravate, Chief Information Officer at Northeast Georgia Health System. “Historically, we had no way to assign a human identity to an endpoint, so our user community had no way to know how to contact any particular person at any particular time. You had to dial the switchboard to find a specialist on call. And charge nurses were writing extension numbers on index cards at the beginning of each shift so they would know how to reach the right people.”

Now Northeast Georgia Health System’s workflows are consolidated onto all-in-one mobile devices, allowing them to route collaboration through their EHR messaging solution, thus eliminating the need for some software and devices all together.

Simplified EPCS and improved medication administration

The emergence of virtual care and telehealth has led to a need for more remote clinical workflows, including electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS). However, due to technology and regulatory restrictions, providers have been limited to using laptops or desktops to complete EPCS orders. This delays how soon patients receive medication, creating patient safety issues, increasing provider dissatisfaction, and adding greater burden and stress for providers. Enabling EPCS on mobile devices provides clinicians with a fast, convenient workflow for prescribing controlled substances. Additionally, improving the rates of electronic medication administration can increase efficiency, but more importantly, decrease errors and increase patient safety.

Supporting medication administration on mobile devices is critical to driving adoption of these electronic workflows and supporting better quality of care. With mobile devices, clinicians can quickly scan bar codes and document critical information in the patient's record, all from the same device. This reduces steps in the workflow, making it easier and faster for clinicians to perform all necessary steps to ensure safety, meet documentation protocols, and provide top-quality patient care.

In a recent webinar, Texas Children’s Hospital shared how they improved various workflows, including medication administration, by leveraging shared mobile devices to improve efficiency and drive adoption. In addition to workflow efficiency, supporting medication administration on mobile devices also helps improve the overall patient experience. The ability to scan a patient from a mobile phone helps to reduce disturbances during evening rounds, such as having to turn on lights and rolling in workstations.


EHR optimization: Seeing is believing

Imprivata solutions integrate seamlessly with leading EHR vendors to help healthcare organizations maximize their EHR investment. Imprivata delivers fast, secure access, simplified authentication, integration with mobile applications, role-based access, and activity monitoring. These capabilities improve usability, protect PHI, and optimize the use of the EHR across more users and applications. Optimization helps organizations increase user satisfaction, improve workflow efficiency, drive EHR adoption, and reduce clinician burnout.

Reserve some time with us at HIMSS to learn how Imprivata can help your organization with easy-to-use digital identity solutions:

  • Minimize clicks and keystrokes across EHR apps and workflows from on-prem endpoints and shared mobile devices
  • Enable day-one, role-based access to EHR apps, modules, and workflows
  • Support reauthentication, witnessing, and fully compliant EPCS workflows
  • Ensure accurate patient identification to expedite care and the revenue cycle process