Successful HIT Requires Inter-Team Communication

Charles H. Andrus (St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, MO, USA) and Mark Gaynor (Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 6
EISBN13: 9781466662643|DOI: 10.4018/jcit.2013100101
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When compared to traditional medical centers, academic medical centers have additional complexity caused by tension between clinical research and patient care, which adds structural and organization differences within the organization. Many academic medical centers have a separate physician practice plan and hospital organization. Usually this means the medical school and its faculty are responsible for outpatient practices, and a separate hospital organization performs the daily management and sustainability of the affiliated academic hospitals. With separate governing and executive bodies, information technology (IT) has additional challenges not found in community hospital settings where one, unified entity exists. Two different financial entities for one unified care delivery model results in differences in technology used at both entities. The hospital organization might use one e-mail system, while the medical school might use another. Though one might argue e-mail system differences are inconsequential, the opposite is true. Different e-mail systems result in meeting cancellations not flowing to the other system, the possibility of an incomplete address book, and security problems. These shortcomings result in user frustration because of inconsistent user experience and inefficient communication between parties. It is important to minimize such frustrations and inefficiencies for user adoption to be successful. Electronic medical records (EMRs) have similar problems. Due to differences in legal and financial responsibilities, the hospital and physician practice plan may have separate EMRs for the inpatient and outpatient experience respectively. This can not only create an incomplete user experience, but also cause interoperability problems. Therefore, whenever the system is changed for enhancement or to fix bugs, careful consideration must be taken to reduce unnecessary user angst.
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