Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Displaying the Status of the EHR vs. The Patient

A CIO colleague recently shared with me that her EHR team runs a routine that balances the clinical results that are sent out against those that are posted to the EHR. I gather from her message that the results of that reconciliation are used by her team to manage the environment, but not shared with clinicians in some sort of a data quality dashboard.

In the rest of our lives, there are examples everywhere in which we display the status of the system to the operator-- automobiles, pilots, manufacturing systems, transportation system, et al. In healthcare we display the status of the patient via the EHR, but we don't display the status of the EHR to the operator-- that's the system status that's missing in this healthcare process-- the status of the data quality (completeness and validity) in the EHR is the unknown that leaves clinicians not knowing what they don't know.

We need some creative ways to display the status of the EHR's data quality to clinicians, such as:

--Average delay in posting results to the EHR
--Likelihood that "this patient" is a duplicate record
--Average daily backlog of HL7 messages per patient in the master patient index

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