With time and a strong push from Information technology, the healthcare industry is evolving. Every year, health IT companies bring new devices and tools aimed at reducing the burden on healthcare providers.
One particular healthcare industry problem that still seems to be elusive to the prowess of technology is medical errors. Essentially, Medical Errors are preventable negative effects of diagnosis or treatment.
Previously errors occurred because of improper utilization of data. Nowadays errors are made due to over-utilization of data. Physicians who preferred to use hi-tech devices are now afraid to use it. They are afraid because practices now use Electronic Health Record (EHR) and if one fails to update, the entire people involved in care will face difficulties.
In the USA, except for few practices, others have already implemented EHR system. These records are used to treat, refer, and to make all important clinical decisions. Physicians are put in a situation to handle too many data having a chance of causing errors. Most of the medical errors are made by physicians while utilizing these records in their busy schedule and these mistakes are directly tied up with patient records.
Likewise, errors are also made while referring a patient. Sometimes there is a possibility of sending wrong data while referring a patient. These incorrect referrals are found when referral coordinators call the wrong patient to confirm the appointments. At the same time, the concerned patient who needs a specialist visit will be waiting for the call to fix an appointment. This small error adds up over-time to cost-time, effort and money.
Repeated procedures are also another problem that contributes to the additional cost to patients which is not yet addressed by many hospitals. Patients are often requested to run repeat diagnosis and tests.
As requested patients will also repeat certain tests multiple times unknowingly by putting themselves in danger. Tests like CT scan and other imaging causes exposure to some radiations. By taking these tests multiple times they will end up with the high risk of getting cancer. Procedure repeat could be avoidable when all scanning image records are synced with an EHR. Timely update of all the patient-relevant details into their EHR will help to develop a better workflow.
The poor integration of EHR technology or medical device within a hospital is also noted as a potential cause of medical errors. Also, patients keep switching the network when they don’t find the right specialist. A practice with referral software will help to solve this problem.
A referral software enables smooth communication between the specialist and the PCP, PCPs will receive information back from the specialists. Improved communication with the help of referral solution could reduce medical errors and curb repeated tests and diagnosis.
A Referral Management Solution can Help the practice too,
1. Identify the right specialist
2. Closes communication gaps if any by enhancing the doctor-patient communication
3. Increase the utilization of medical records
4. Makes process simpler and effective
5. Reduce effort, time and repeated tests
6. Decrease wait time and scheduling problems