The benefits of Electronic Medical Records are clear. They’re the closest thing health has to a silver bullet; they can save money, generate efficiency, and ease the burden on staff, all while providing better patient outcomes and building resilience for crisis situations.
What’s less clear is the path to successful adoption of EMR. Replacing old systems with new can feel like climbing a mountain that never ends. Staff, patients, infrastructure, and governance all have to adapt to the changes and, while the process of transformation takes place, it’s easy for everyone to lose sight of the benefits that will eventually result.
But case studies of EMR adoption show change doesn’t have to be exhausting.
In Queensland’s Metro North region, hospitals and health organisations are transitioning to EMR by following a clear Digital Strategy that maps a pathway to a fully-enabled digital system by 2032, and marks milestones along the way.
The Metro North strategy includes three key steps
- Building Digital Foundations. To begin, the technology is rolled out to securely collect, collate, and analyse patient records using a single system, while staff are trained and supported to adopt the new system.
- Transforming Patient Care. As features like live-streamed analytics and a repository of clinical information come online, patients will begin to receive some communications and care support through interactive portals. Staff will up-skill in best-practice and new uses of data, while the innovation and research potential of the district’s analytics are explored.
- Re-imagining Our Future. Innovation will become the norm with a system that integrates clinical data, analytics, researchers, and artificial intelligence to develop improved models of care. This evolution will provide powerful foresight, enabling patient care to transition from a “break-fix” to a “predict-prevent” model.
While no two regions or hospitals are the same, the Metro North roadmap can provide insight and practical advice for hospitals planning their own digital evolution. Of particular interest is the iterative nature of the rollout. EMR becomes useful to staff and patients and begins providing a return on investment, even in the early years before full capacity is realised.
Adoption of EMR is a journey, but it’s not one every hospital has to take on alone. And at its end are results that can’t be ignored. EMR will create higher standards of care, more equitable access to the health system, budget savings for hospitals, reduced costs of illness for nations, and a long list of outcomes we can’t even imagine yet, because we’re only just beginning to learn what this technology can really do.
Ergotron is a leader in supplying EMR-ready and enabling equipment in Australia and New Zealand. Contact your Healthcare Specialist today at Ergotron to discuss how we can help you benefit from digital transformation.