Technology, automating workflows, and improving care coordination

Delivering excellent care depends on a team approach. The right technology enables that team to function smoothly for the benefit of the patient and the practice. The connection between technology, automating workflows, and improving care coordination is one that will result in improvements in care delivery for the independent physician.

In today’s complex healthcare landscape, there is a potential danger of patients falling into care gaps without coordinated care. As the population ages and chronic illnesses become more prevalent, patients very rarely see only one provider for their healthcare needs. Even within the practice itself, there may be multiple points of contact for the patient that require coordination in order for the independent physician to deliver high quality care for that patient.

Technology such as electronic health records (EHRs), consumer apps, and patient portals play a significant role in improving coordinated care. The use of fitness apps, particular, is proving useful in incorporating data points into a patient’s longitudinal record.

Workflows embedded in the EHRs and patient portals can trigger actions by the care team, resulting in the consistent application of best practices. The team approach is critical for the patient’s preventative care as well as the management of chronic illnesses.

Using technology to automate workflow and for improving coordinated care enables the independent physician to know which patients are at risk, are due for screenings, or are out of range for what would be expected on test results and other pertinent data.

Elation provides the technology that is purpose-built for the way physicians deliver excellent care.

Instead of a linear workflow that forces back-and-forth toggling between screens, and that can result in the provider missing relevant information, the Cockpit View offers a seamless approach. The unique structure provides immediate access to the patient’s information, significantly reducing the time the physician spends reviewing data and increasing the amount of time spent focusing on the patient during the visit.

An automated workflow within the EHR enables providers and patients to benefit from the analytics technology. Routine and repeatable tasks can be automated. Healthcare data is available at the touch of a button. The workflow ensures that the physician has the information needed, whether from specialty providers, labs, or other healthcare providers, to provide the highest quality coordinated care for the patient at the moment it is needed.

Vital insights are more accessible and available in a timely manner, with improved breadth and depth of the patient’s health data. EHR documentation provides that critical value to delivering quality, coordinated care that is so critical in today’s healthcare environment.

To this end, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is leading a project to explore how automation can support health care workflows through the use of technology. The project is designed to:

  • Identify opportunities for automation in health care, in both clinical and administrative areas
  • Explore what would need to be instrumented to enable such automation
  • Identify labor-intensive parts of health care
  • Introduce perspectives from other industries, such as finance, hospitality, and manufacturing
  • Explore the need for new and/or updated workflows.

In September 2020, ONC organized a workshop of experts from across various industries to discuss opportunities to the acceleration of workflow automation in healthcare.