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Problems with paper:

Moving clinical information from one health care setting to another can require a great amount of effort including calling, authorizing, faxing, referring, copying, and/or mailing results and reports from one physician to another. This information is often not available at the time and place of the patient's visit and results in:

  • Missing information at the point of care negatively impacting patient care; causing delays in care 25 percent of the time, and additional tests and visits 54 percent of the time.
  • More than two million adverse drug events and 190,000 hospitalizations per year, which could be prevented.

In addition, physicians are often faced with making medical decisions based on limited information. A study by the Commonwealth Fund concluded that 30 percent of the time, physicians could not find information previously recorded in the patient's a paper chart. Other problems include:

  • Duplicate testing: the same drug or radiology exam was ordered 11 percent of the time, with patients complying with the duplicate order 50 percent of the time.
  • Incomplete information: physicians were unaware of one in four medications prescribed for patients.
  • Uncertainty: one in seven admissions and one in five lab and radiology tests were ordered due to retrieval barriers. A typical physician receives test results from five or more locations.
  • Data collection and transfer costs: the cost of tracking down and obtaining patient information ranges from $12 to $28 per visit.

The benefits of participating in Atrium Health CareConnect include:

  • Fast results: When you order a test, Atrium Health CareConnect delivers the results to you safely and quickly, allowing for immediate follow-up, if needed.
  • Coordination of care: If a patient has an accident and is brought to the emergency room unable to speak, ER providers may access lifesaving information through the Atrium Health CareConnect.
  • Cost savings: Having access to multiple sources of patient results can eliminate duplicate testing, which will save both you and your patient time and money.
  • Patient safety and security: Atrium Health CareConnect protects patient health information better than paper charts by tracking who has viewed the patient information. Patients can request a report from the Atrium Health CareConnect that tells them who has looked at their information.

How does Atrium Health CareConnect relate to Electronic Health Records?

An Electronic Health Record (EHR) is the aggregate electronic record of health information on an individual that is created, gathered, managed, and consulted by authorized health care clinicians and staff. HIE improves the quality of care to patients through use of the tools embedded within EHR systems and reduces the costs and hassles associated with the paper.

  • A direct interface between the EHR and the HIE allows the HIE to deliver clinical results and reports directly into electronic patient records.
  • An HIE interface feeds data directly from all data senders participating in the HIE. In most cases, the EHR can match the data coming from the HIE with the patient in the EHR for faster charting.
  • A bi-directional EHR interface provides the ability to order tests electronically, which can be routed by the HIE to any participating facilities.
  • Having one interface from the EHR to the HIE is much more cost effective than having to purchase and support multiple interfaces to labs, radiology facilities and hospitals.