Have you thought about the best way to integrate electrocardiogram (ECG) technology into your practice? If it has been awhile, here are 5 aspects to consider:
- Get clinical, information technology (IT), and other stakeholders together to determine what workflow is needed, what the “hard stops” are from an IT perspective to share data securely, and what your office manager considers the main shortcoming of your current device or process to be. Clearly delineating all this information up front is important not just to make the right requests of your vendor but also to decide which tradeoffs are and are not acceptable for the whole group.
- Be clear on who is using the device and for what purpose. Perhaps your medical assistants need to be able to conduct tests, but the right to edit data in the electronic medical record (EMR) should be reserved for physicians. Make sure the whole team is accounted for, so your new system manages user rights both securely and appropriately.
- Voice cybersecurity concerns early and often. Your practice needs to secure the devices on your network your way. Ask your vendor what encryption methods are used to protect patient health information and whether the solution supports your existing security policies for cyber hygiene, scans, upgrades, and patches.
- Ask questions that can help you select the right solution. For example, if you launch ECGs directly from your EMR, what happens if the EMR server is down for maintenance? Make sure there is a back-up workflow that does not rely entirely on the EMR.
- Count clicks. As powerful as EMR integration can be, too often it results in longer workflows for clinicians. Count the clicks you are making today, and make sure that number goes down with the new solution. Otherwise, you may be opening yourself up to workarounds.
An accurate, diagnostic ECG could save a patient’s life today. By paying attention to the basics, finding the best workflow and asking the right questions, you will start down the right path to the best decision for your patients.
Jen Shaw is the Cardiology Marketing Manager at Hillrom, a global medical technology leader whose 10,000 employees have a single purpose: enhancing outcomes for patients and their caregivers by Advancing Connected Care™. At Hillrom, we understand the pressures you face as care environments become increasingly interconnected. That’s why we provide smarter tools like the Welch Allyn® Diagnostic Cardiology Suite™. You can launch the application directly from your EMR to capture and save an ECG in as few as 2 clicks. And you can standardize connectivity across your IDN with DICOM® or HL7® communication. With flexible connectivity platforms and collaborative support, Hillrom can help you make the most of connected care—for your patients and your clinicians. Learn more at hillrom.com/dcs.