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Aug 21

Improving Patient Safety with Health IT

Adverse medication events cause more than 770,000 injuries and deaths each year

Technology is a large part of all of our lives. From our cell phones, to our lap tops, to our electronic medical records… technology dictates a majority of our day. In the healthcare field, health IT provides a number of benefits for your practice in terms of efficiency, quality, and costs. Have you stopped to acknowledge the number of benefits it also provides in terms of patient safety?

Two-Way Communication

With tools such as the patient portal, patients can communicate questions, concerns, or problems with their care team without venturing into the office. This eliminates a potential communication barrier that may exist between the patient and the care team. Opening the pathways for communication limits the possibilities for errors with prescriptions, prescription abandonment, or even dissatisfaction with providers.

Limit Medication Errors

EHRs help providers to avoid medication errors. Inside of these systems, providers can list a patient’s allergies which helps them avoid prescribing a medication that may provide an adverse reaction. It can also provide suggestions for alternative prescriptions that could treat the same illness without the same adverse reaction.

When it comes to medication errors, medications can also be typed into the system wrong. When this happens, the pharmacy has to jump through hoops to reconnect with the physician to get a correction. As of the beginning of 2020, EHRs will be required to have a “structured sig” which significantly cuts down on this issue. This requires a bit more manual entry for providers, however, it aids in improving patient safety.

Increase Patient-Centered Care

Patient-centered care puts patients at the center of everything. This makes them more involved in taking charge of their care and participating in the treatment plans from their providers. Health It utilization enables them to connect with providers or members of their care team easily to ask questions. This can boost compliance in health plans and make patients more confident in managing their own care.

Health IT also aids in providing self-study materials for educational purposes. This helps both patients and providers move throughout the treatment plan without missing a beat or misunderstanding the illness at hand.

Complete View of Health Data

Up until patient health records were created, it was nearly impossible to gather all of the information for one patient. By all of the information, we mean the information from their primary physician, specialists, ER visits, urgent care visits, and more. Now, with EHRs and interoperability initiatives, providers can see the full scope of care that a patient has received in one spot. This eliminates a lot of potential errors that could take place, and enables providers to touch base with past members a patient’s health team. This provides a clear view of a patient’s health history which is important to their overall scope of care.

Patient safety can reach new heights when health IT is utilized to its full potential. Is your practice ready to reap the benefits of these tools?

Is your practice ready to start utilizing Health IT tools to improve patient safety? Visit us today at micromd.com or call us at 1-800-624-8832 for more information.

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