Against the backdrop of data complexity and administrative burdens, healthcare providers are striving to unlock seamless and automated data flows. According to HealthIT, around 86% of acute care hospitals have already adopted a certified EHR and EMR solution.
Electronic medical records or EMRs are a critical component of the electronic health record system and digital health. Electronic medical charts provide a standardized collection of patient information that includes a miscellany of health-related data, such as medical history, laboratory and imaging results, medications, allergies and immunizations, social insurance numbers, and other demographic information. Unlike electronic health records, EMR access is limited to a particular department and is mostly used for diagnosis and treatment.
Being consolidated storage of medical data, EMR is a pillar of digitized healthcare that allows clinicians to quickly access patient data, make data-driven treatment decisions, and reduce unnecessary care.
Transparency of care delivery, driven by EMR, also cuts across the grain of traditional hospital workflows and promotes patient-centered strategy. Moreover, EMR prevents errors in documentation by providing a consistent way of recording basic clinical information.
However, the full potential of digital charts extends far beyond EHR integration.
According to GlobeNewswire, the market of electronic medical records moves to a growth trajectory with an estimated value of over $44 million by 2026. The EMR market spike is driven by health tech adoption and governmental initiatives. The data-sharing capabilities of digital charts also lead the accelerated adoption of EMRs.
From telehealth to clinical laboratory information systems, EMR integration enables a seamless flow of health-related information from one facility to another. It means that health professionals can exchange critical insights both within one clinic and among its member hospitals with just a few clicks.
As a part of the diverse ecosystem, health organizations can also integrate EMR and RPM to better understand their patient population. A subcategory of homecare telehealth, remote patient monitoring devices collect and send patient data directly into the healthcare digital system. Paired with EMR, monitoring solutions result in uninterrupted workflows and promote a unified source of comprehensive patient-generated data.
Linking telehealth applications with EMR infrastructure culminates in an all-in-one platform that updates patient data both in the telehealth app and the EMR. This takes away the administrative effort from the personnel and ensures that medical decision-making is based on accurate, real-time data. Let’s have a look at other advantages of EMR and RPM as joined forces.
By establishing an episode of care, physicians can obtain RPM for patients directly from the EHR thanks to the bidirectional features of EMR integration solutions. Working as an extension of an EHR system, remote patient monitoring also allows care teams to read patient-generated data, such as glucose levels or blood pressure, within an EHR system.
This eliminates the time and effort to input patient-submitted vitals into the patient’s health record, which minimizes medical errors and allows practitioners to choose the right course of treatment. The connection between the two systems also promotes ongoing care management and patients’ direct engagement in healthcare.
Both EMR and EHR integrations eliminate tedious and fallible data duplication for the personnel, thus leading to operational cost savings. Moreover, the link between remote monitoring and digital charts helps providers identify risks early and prevent medical emergencies. The latter, in turn, helps drive down costs associated with emergency room visits and re-admissions.
By bridging the gap between the two systems, providers can unlock seamless data flows from EMR to RPM. Thus, EMR systems can automatically receive patient referrals, which speeds up the onboarding process for patients. Vitals are then automatically injected into an EMR, enabling physicians to access critical data with one click. Automated workflows also usher in more process visibility thanks to on-demand reporting.
Interoperability is the ability of different systems and devices to work together. When it comes to health care, interoperability is essential for care providers to be able to share patient health data, put patients first, and make all medical records easily accessible to both sides of the healthcare process. With CMS introducing new interoperability rules, digital reciprocity is a mandate for providers.
Consistent data flows, integrations, automated workflows, and telehealth are salient building blocks of interoperability. Usually, telehealth or RPM data is shared with a central data repository, which is an EHR system. This way, providers can easily exchange biometric data and patient demographics to develop patient cohorts and identify at-risk groups.
On a high level, data exchange enables care providers to establish a single source of truth to make more informed decisions about treatment. Moreover, interoperability helps easily coordinate care plans, avoid duplication of services, and reduce healthcare costs.
Application programming interfaces enable healthcare applications to exchange data and share information in real time. By using APIs, providers can more easily share information with patients, which ultimately leads to enhanced interoperability.
Healthcare APIs come in different flavors based on the application and software vendor. EHR APIs are among the most common API types and are majorly governed by the market-leading EHR systems. These include Epic with 29% of market share, Cerner with 26% of market share, as well as MEDITECH and Allscripts with 17% and 7% of market shares respectively.
A ready-made technology tool, Epic FHIR APIs help extend excess through Epic systems and supplement patient-specific information. This API suite comes with everything needed to build an application or integrate digital records. The tool also provides a ready-made testing suite to validate the applications.
Touted as an open technology, Ignite APIs by Cerner promote fast and iterative deployments of enhancements and collaborative workflows. Instead of pulling data from one document, it automatically creates records from a variety of data touchpoints.
This API suite is a web-based interface that allows external applications to read health data stored in a MEDITECH Electronic Health Record system. The solution is compatible with a great number of other digital record systems and can be set up separately from the MEDITECH suite.
This set of tools allows developers to access and manipulate data stored in Allscripts EHRs. The API is well-documented and easy to use, making it a good choice for developers who are new to working with healthcare data.
Just like any tech synergy, blending your digital records and remote monitoring solutions requires groundwork. Below, you’ll find the milestones of integrations necessary to establish a stable connection between the systems.
The planning stage takes your project off the ground and lays the foundation for further stages. During this phase, your development team looks into the documentation of the software product and its evolution plan as well as defines your EHR system’s constraints and capabilities. Since your healthcare infrastructure must be compliant with regulations, the team also puts together compliance and security prerequisites.
Risk analysis is another element of your blueprint which outlines integration risks and helps develop a risk mitigation plan for future merging. The output of this phase is a high-level project plan that charts out milestones — each tied to a specific timeline.
At this step, your integration team sets up a custom data architecture for your workflows based on your needs. To do that, data engineers need to identify the relevant communication flows between your EHR and RPM solutions as well as define the data storage format and exchange standards such as HL7, FHIR, and others.
Your API design is complemented with the optimal tech stack that factors in the current IT infrastructure.
With all the preliminaries on hand, your development team then proceeds onto developing the integration environment. In most cases, this stage also involves re-engineering the existing components of the IT infrastructure.
Before setting the EHR/RPM combination in motion, you should also run multiple tests to ensure hassle-free data sharing between the systems. These should include integration testing, functional tests, connectivity audits, and others.
No implementation is complete without employee onboarding. You should also collect feedback from the end users to detect any gaps or system issues. Moreover, it’s important to keep tabs on the performance of EHR/RPM integration in post-production to integrate adjustments or scale up the solution.
Being an experienced EMR integration partner, CleverDev Software has worked side-by-side with providers to improve healthcare technology and data workflow. We help open up new opportunities for care teams that promote better patient care, greater cost savings, and better coordination between medical service providers.
Following best compliance practices, our software engineers introduce smooth and secure data exchange between digital records and other health-related software - from RPM solutions to CRMs and HIE systems.
We work across a wide range of healthcare standards, including HL7, FHIR, DICOM, and others to provide a solid foundation for interoperability and seamless data exchange. Having hands-on experience in different integration approaches, our developers fine-tune the workflows to your business needs and tech requirements.
As the healthcare industry undergoes a digital transformation, electronic medical records have become the de facto way of effective patient data storage. Along with a comprehensive patient view, digital charts also streamline workflows and standardize the documentation of patient interactions. Paired with remote patient monitoring, EMRs become an overarching solution that eases data access, helps deliver higher-quality care, and reduces operational costs.
If you’re looking for a mature EMR integration partner, CleverDev Software can take over the end-to-end integration process and unleash the flow of patient data for better care outcomes. Contact us to share your project details and get a secure connection between your healthcare systems.