Of course, the primary use of EHR data has traditionally focused on clinical optimization. A prime example of this is the fall risk evaluator that’s available with some EHR platforms. This is the ability to take information that’s spread across visits, medications, diagnoses and other key indicators, and summarize it into a packaged alert that indicates whether a resident is at an elevated fall risk, and the potential reasons why. It helps to let staff know, “hey, maybe you should keep an eye on this resident,” or “we may need to reevaluate our clinical approach to this patient,” before an event occurs.
This kind of clinical optimization is already becoming a standard expectation among EHR systems. And today, it can be expanded to areas beyond falls, including risk of malnutrition, sepsis, allergic reactions, and more.
This info could be communicated with a detailed report, of course. But today, we’re finding that quick-hit alerts and notifications, such as direct-to-consumer media like text messages and emails, are the types of channels that have the most impact across clinical teams.
True, nobody wants to get bogged down with too many alerts. Yet some information does need to be communicated urgently. So, an EHR provider should work with each organization to find the right balance and determine how to communicate important data and alerts in the way that works best for them and their care teams.