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Paperless practice: Going wireless in hospice care

Paperless practice in hospice care

By Terri Durkin, SLP and Maggie Vescovich, SLP

Often our patients, and their caregivers, are amazed at the computer devices we use while making our visits…and we thought you’d be interested in knowing the background for why we use them!

The switch from paper to electronic health records can be credited to President George Bush, who established the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in 2004.  He set the goal of widespread electronic health records by the year 2014.  This means that you and most Americans will have electronic health records by next year.  So, in an ideal paperless world, what are the advantages of electronic health records?

Electronic health records allow:

  • A Better Patient Experience:  Errors and delays related to prescriptions, physician orders, patient records, and reimbursement are reduced.
  • Higher Quality of Care:  Providers meet a high standard of patient care.  Complete and accurate patient files decrease opportunities for mistakes, omissions, or duplicated treatments.  Members of your Home Care team such as nurses, therapists, home health aides, social workers and chaplains can securely access files from home or office, promoting greater continuity of care.  All members of a patient’s care team have full access to the chart, in real time.
  • Enhanced Staff Productivity:  Clinicians can spend more of their time providing face-to-face care because office workflow is less disrupted due to missing, misfiled, or incomplete charts.
  • Security of Patient Data:   Health information privacy requirements for the security of patient information are met.
  • Access to Web-based Information:  Clinicians have the ability to perform literature searches, and seek other web-based information to help answer specific questions during the course of the patient visit.

So, the next time you or your loved one is asked to provide a signature on a hand held devices or tablet computer, rest assured your hospice team has the latest technology to meet your needs and ensure your confidentiality.

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