The healthcare industry is undergoing an information revolution as regulations encourage a transition from document-based information to electronic health records and protected health information (PHI).
As hospitals and healthcare organizations adapt their processes to embrace the revolution, a new IDC InfoBrief, commissioned by Ricoh Americas Corporation, highlights enhancements to data management that can help organizations achieve information mobility – the ability to capture, transform and manage information from anywhere and at any time. With nearly 83% of hospitals reporting opportunities to integrate workflows across departments, the healthcare industry is poised to see significant gains from information mobility related to meaningful use and accountable care.
As hospitals and healthcare organizations adapt their processes to embrace the revolution, a new IDC InfoBrief, commissioned by Ricoh Americas Corporation,* highlights enhancements to data management that can help organizations achieve information mobility – the ability to capture, transform and manage information from anywhere and at any time. With nearly 83% of hospitals reporting opportunities to integrate workflows across departments, the healthcare industry is poised to see significant gains from information mobility related to meaningful use and accountable care.
“The healthcare industry has historically invested less in technology than other industries, but government regulations incentivizing technology upgrades have spurred the next wave in information mobility for healthcare,” said Lynne Dunbrak, Research Vice President, Connected Health IT Strategies, IDC Health Insights. “The need to access the right data at a moment’s notice is even more critical in the healthcare industry when patient care is at stake. As hospitals realize the benefits to population health, meaningful use gains and accountable care, they are steadily making investments to improve their workflows and IT infrastructure for greater access to information.”
Healthcare organizations working toward a goal of EHRs and electronic health information exchanges require technologies that support this digital transformation. They are seeking to improve care coordination and clinical processes across departments to achieve these long-term goals. In fact, 84.7% of hospitals noted their internal departments could optimize their document workflows. Importantly, they also reported document image data is as critical as paper documents to their business needs, as doctors and nurses need access to electronic versions of documents for proper patient treatment.
Hospitals have identified key challenges, including workflow inefficiencies, departmental silos and lack of access to mobile and cloud applications that could impede their information mobility goals. Streamlined workflows and data communication can help ensure patient healthcare information, including document images, is easily and securely accessible to health practitioners when and where they need it – the core components of information mobility – which helps to enable the highest quality of care. Although 68.7% of hospital employees are satisfied with their ability to print, scan and access applications from a mobile device, improvements to the way healthcare practitioners capture, transform and manage patient data can be improved, particularly related to helping them attain meaningful use goals for EHR use. Recognizing the benefits of mobile document capture, hospitals are in the early stages of mobile technology deployments that will expand immediate access to critical patient data for employees and patients.
Hospitals are reporting the strongest improvements from information mobility technology in work quality (28.3%), information flow within departments (27.3%) and time employees dedicate to their patients (27.3%), contributing to enhanced patient care and satisfaction. As organizations continue to see efficiencies and process enhancements in these areas, they will supplement ongoing gains in meaningful use and accountable care. Ultimately these benefits to patient care can translate to business benefits for hospitals, as patient perspectives of care influence hospital reimbursement rates.
When hospitals improve their means of capturing, transforming and managing healthcare data, they are better able to identify key trends in population health and provide proactive, preventative treatment for patients. Information mobility technology practices can lead to healthier populations and healthy finances for hospitals.
“Ricoh is committed to helping our customers improve the ways they manage data for business benefits and to improve the overall patient experience,” said Ron Nielson, Vice President, Healthcare, Ricoh Americas Corporation. “We understand how improvements to workflow efficiency and information mobility can benefit hospitals, their staff and the patients they serve, and we are working with healthcare organizations to implement technologies that will help improve overall population health.”