As the frenzy associated with electronic medical record (EMR) implementation winds down, many industry experts wonder what new initiative sits on the horizon. While most organizations face a daunting task of redesigning clinical workflows and facilitating change management to achieve the targeted clinical and financial outcomes from their EMR purchase, they must also continue to invest in their healthcare information technology (HIT) infrastructure.
The straightforward yet difficult work of clinical workflow redesign requires identification of best practices as well as determining how to embed those practices in a natural workflow. Clinical and administrative staff must determine how to effectively leverage EMR functionality to consistently and optimally deliver the chosen best practice.
Although most attention to HIT focuses on the use of the EMR, other recent HIT tools successfully merge clinical and administrative activities that previously stood independent of each other. These new tools represent the larger overlap of care delivery activities by combining clinical bedside care with the broad range of services that support it.