EHR Alerts: Top 3 Ways For Better Patient Outcomes
During the process of EHR implementation, health systems have the option of integrating types of EHR alerts into clinical decision support functionality. As alerts are the best for providing useful updates to healthcare providers, low value EHR alerts can unnecessarily leads to physician burnout.
However, effective EHR alerts such as admission, discharge, and transfer (ADT) notifications or screening reminders can help to streamline clinical efficiency and care coordination by quickly communicating critical patient information to providers through the EHR interface.
Here are the three ways EHR alerts can be effectively used for better patient health outcomes.
Transitions Of Care
Provider communication during transitions of care is imperative to ensuring care teams across the continuum have the information necessary to make well-informed clinical decisions as patients are admitted, transferred or discharged to different hospitals or facilities.
ADT notifications and alerts can help to keep different care teams updated during these times to improve care coordination and reduce hospital readmissions.
Integrating ADT notifications into EHR systems through a connection with a health information exchange (HIE) can streamline and expedite provider communication.
Chronic Care Management
EHR-integrated alerts offering providers clinical decision support about disease management can help providers treat both high and low-risk patients dealing with a variety of chronic illnesses. Alerts can also help providers to diagnose and start treatment for chronic diseases earlier by reminding clinicians to screen or test for different conditions.
Implementing alerts or prompts into the EHR system assisted in increasing screening rates, streamlining specialty referrals, and improving chronic disease treatment and management for the population. Clinical decision support alerts built into EHR technology can also be useful for assisting clinicians with making risk-appropriate care.
When treating high-risk patients, physicians received EHR alerts recommending a referral to a nephrologist if the patient had not visited the specialist in the past 12 months. Physicians also received an EHR alert recommending specific prescriptions if the patient had a diagnosis of hypertension and had not been prescribed the medications in the last year.
Utilizing EHR alerts to deliver recommendations to physicians specific to a patient’s condition and level of risk can help to facilitate more accurate care delivery for improved patient health outcomes. Alerts can also help providers cut down on unnecessary testing and reduce potential instances of patient harm.
While EHR alerts have been associated with information overload and fatigue, some hospitals and health systems have taken steps to implement alerts that help to cut down on unnecessary testing and procedures to improve patient safety, save providers time, and reduce hospital spending.
Implementing EHR alerts related to Choosing Wisely recommendations into clinical workflows improved efficiency and allowed patients to get into surgery an average of 6 months sooner due to reductions in preoperative testing.
Offering patients useful reminders about patient status updates, test screening, care delivery, and guideline recommendations through EHR alerts is a simple way to improve quality of care and boost patient health outcomes.
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