What do social media and the EMR have in common?

I have been thinking about social media a lot lately. After listening to recent congressional testimony, it struck me that the shock over the use of social media data might have been a little over the top. Were mistakes made? Of course. But, let’s be realistic: when users willingly display their lives on social platforms, how concerned are they about security?

To quote the Bard, “Me thinks thou doth protest too much.”

This led me to think about EMRs and our expectations of them. Perhaps it was naïve to think the EMR could be all things to all people – solving every problem in healthcare. Perhaps we expected too much.

Perhaps we need to cut them some slack.

The EMR continues to help improve patient care and safety every day. But, it was never meant to do much of what we’re now expecting from it.

Think beyond the EMR

The volume of healthcare data in 2013 was 153 exabytes, according to a 2014 International Data Corporation (IDC) report. By 2020, that number is projected to skyrocket to more than 2,000 exabytes.

Now, an exabyte is roughly one billion gigabytes, but, if that’s still too nebulous to get your head around, 2,000 exabytes is about 235 times the number of insects on earth. Given that my first computer only had 4K of RAM – the equivalent of three crickets – this statistic is amazing to me.

Beyond volume, the diversity of information that healthcare organizations require to operate is staggering, and the majority of it is not made up of nice, clean, discrete data elements that fit into proper, predictable sizes and types. Eighty percent of health data is unstructured.

EMRs are simply not able to manage this unstructured and inconsistent data. For us to have expected them to was unfair.

However, the EMR is a healthcare professional’s go-to application, so we need solutions that will manage and utilize the information generated and stored across departments in multiple, disparate systems and make it available within it.

Patients shouldn’t need to transport information to their different care providers. And clinicians shouldn’t have to log in to multiple systems to find the information they need, when, where and how they need it.

No matter where the patient presents – a clinic, hospital or at home over a telehealth video – healthcare professionals should be able to access patient informationall of a patient’s information, including DICOM images. We’re talking about solutions that can share critical information across various clinical settings, systems and file types to support continuity of care.

In short, we’re talking about a content services platform.

hyland healthcare and content servicesHow content services empowers your organization 

A content services platform provides a set of services and microservices that can be integrated into a product suite or as separate applications. In either case, they share common APIs and repositories which allow them – and users – to take advantage of various content types. This complements the broad variety of departments found in a healthcare organization.

A content services platform is beautiful in its simplicity. This approach not only allows a variety of content from different sources to come together to support a focus on the user (and therefore support patient care), it also has several additional advantages.

A content services platform approach:

  • Focuses on transforming the way people use all forms of content and information assets to make more-informed decisions and better serve patients
  • Allows healthcare organizations the freedom to tailor the services they need to empower their users, rather than try to force-fit all users into the same user experience and work style
  • Ties your existing systems together to share real-time data and deliver information to users – especially via cloud technologies

Improve the way you use information

Building on these benefits, an enterprise healthcare content services platform manages both content and medical images to create a complete patient record. Clinicians quickly and more easily access what they need to make care decisions. Considering at some point everyone is a patient, we all have a stake in that game.

In the age of social media, where organizations have instant access to the personal information of billions of users and scrutinize it with powerful analytical tools, it’s time for the healthcare industry to be able to do the same thing.

To learn more about content services in healthcare, download “10 Reasons Why You Need Healthcare Content Services.”

Kate Barney

Kate Barney

Kate Barney, RN, is Hyland's marketing portfolio manager for the healthcare industry.

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