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Overview of TSF consultant management
TSF consultant management is a dedicated software consultant with many years of experience in successful installation of electronic health record software in several medical facilities. TSF consultant Management Company is a registered company in the country under the registration of companies Act. The headquarters of TSF consulting management company is New York City. The company has built a fruitful and a good rapport with many government departments, agencies, firms, NGOs among others both nationally and internationally. The application of electronic health records has been growing in the recent years and this has seen the TSF consultant management company offering its services to many health centers and medical facilities. Many organizations are adopting electronic health records methods because of its numerous advantages over the manual method of data storage. To assist in improvement and installation of the electronic health records, TSF consultant management has promoted and championed the campaign of technological shift from manual systems to electronic systems in record keeping. The TSF consulting Management Company has positioned itself in the market to work with both government and private organizations with focus in revolutionizing the keeping of records in health care facilities.
The importance of electronics health record and positive impacts
When the electronic health records is functional fully and is exchangeable, it offers many benefits more than the manual records. The importance of the electronic health records as highlighted by Walker (2005) include:
- Increasing the participation of the patients in their care
- Improving the convenience and quality of their care
- Improving the coordination of care
- Improving the health outcomes and diagnosis accuracy
- Increasing cost savings and practice efficiencies.
Objectives of the software
- To customize the software to the needs of the health care providers
- To integrate all the healthcare systems using the software and improve coordination
- To make it web based so as to be accessible anywhere, on any operating system and on any type of device
- To be of meaningful use to the users, by engaging the families and the patients in the care, and not to create more problems
- To improve care safety, quality, efficacy, and lastly to reduce health disparities
- Improve the public and the population health
- To ensure adequate security and privacy protections
Information system today Change in culture (computer culture)
The world has transformed radically by the digital technology, courtesy of the tablets, smart phones and devices that are web enabled which has transformed people’s daily lives and the way communication takes place. Lehmann (2006) observed that medicine is an enterprise that is rich in information. The electronic health records have created a more seamless and greater information flow within the infrastructure of digital health care. This leverages and encompasses digital progress and help in transformation in the manner care is delivered and also delivered. With the presence of electronic health records software, information is made readily accessible and available to all parties wherever and whenever they require or it is needed.
The electronic health records software also enables the physicians to automate the workflow. It also assists in customizable and flexible documentation of the patients. This is configured to compliment the physician’s clinical approach and their work style. The health care providers can use the visual notes designer in laying out their own notes, and to their exact preference. Similarly, the health care providers can utilize the third party tools such as speech and transcription to enter notes according to their desired work flow. Lastly, the flexible documentation helps in creating the auto fill charge slip. The modifier codes, diagnosis and procedure are sent directly to the tools for medical billing (Lehmann 2006).
Walker (2005) indicated that it also enables the physicians view their patient’s information in their own way. They can scan allergy, problems lists, and medication quickly in addition to reviewing the social, family and medical histories within same view. Furthermore, the physician can also configure the chart of the patient to their preference. Moreover, the electronic data software can be easily be organized to compliment the work flow of the heath care providers. For instance, the user-definable folders helps in keeping the charts of the patients organized in folders that are similar to a paper chart. On the other hand, the role-based views and preferences enable each user and the provider to create custom preferences and views. Lastly, it enables the health care providers to view the charts in their own way. This is enabled by configuring the patient charts and organizing the information the way they desire it to look like.
The electronic health records software also trend the health of patient across visits and over time. The custom and predefined flow sheers provide table and graphical summary of the changing factors, form the vital signs of the patient or weight to the medications and treatments given. Additionally, the results populate into flow sheets automatically (Walker 2005).
The electronic health records software also create the custom health plans. The maintenance plans and health protocols can be assigned to group or individual patients. Similarly, the health watcher sends reminders automatically to the people and the physicians with the best practices of healthcare and medical advice. For instance, the software will automatically alert nurses for prescription refills, appointments recall and lab orders. It easily creates health plans that are customizable based on the parameter-based triggers, and on clinical decision. The parameters may include lab results, diagnosis, age and sex.
The electronic health records software also helps in analyzing, monitoring and quantifying the population health. The use the customizable and built-in repots in analyzing and monitoring the populations of the patients. This improves the care quality and ensures there is consistency in care across the physicians’ practice. There is meaningful use of the reports which quickly track and review the achieved progress towards compliance meaningful use (Lehmann 2006). Moreover, there is easily built list of patients with structured results and data. Lastly, the health analytics of the patient allows the health care provider to quantify their health care processes and outcomes.
The electronic health records software also receive and share the health information electronically. This enables the health care providers to coordinate care across the healthcare settings. Similarly, it also enables the heath care providers to electronically exchange and receive orders, referrals, results, medical results, consults and summaries among others. For instance, the software transmits electronically the health related data to public health registries, immunization and the cancer registries. Moreover, managing of transition of care have been made easy because the patient clinical information can be shared with the outside hospital entries, next care provider and also exchange of health information. Lastly, sharing of the information electronically enables secure exchange of document. The imaging and interfaced lab results flow to the chart of the patient automatically. This saves time for the patient and also to the physician (Walker 2005).
Competitive Advantages that the system will provide
The electronic health records has a competitive advantage over the manual keeping of records in relation to more accuracy, faster, cheaper, productivity gain and greater consistency. According to Lehmann (2006), the paper based records or the manual keeping of records requires a larger space for storage in comparison to the digital records. Moreover, costs of storing of media such as film and paper per information unit differ significantly from the electronic media storage.
Walker (2005) indicated that when the paper storage are in different locations, bringing them to a single place for review by the provider of health care is complicated and time consuming . This process can be simplified with the digital or the electronic storage. Another example is suggested by Lehmann (2006), when records that are paper based are needed in multiple locations, faxing, copying and the costs of transportation are significant in comparison to the duplication and transferring of the electronic records.
Walker (2005) also pointed out that the medical records that are handwritten can also be linked to poor legibility, and can also contribute to the medical errors. However, the standardization of the abbreviations, the pre-printed forms, and the penmanship standards were encourages in the medical field to improve the reliability of the medical paper records. The electronic records assist with the standardization of abbreviations, terminology, forms and input of data. Furthermore, digitization of forms also facilitates data collection for clinical and epidemiological studies.
The electronic health records can also be updated continuously but within particular legal limitations. Lehmann (2006) argued that the ability of exchanging of records between different electronic medical records, also referred to as “interoperality” would enhance the coordination of the delivery of the health care in the health care facilities that are non-affiliated. Additionally, electronic system data can be used for statistical reporting anonymously in areas such as resource management, quality improvement, and the surveillance of the communicable diseases of the public health
Cost and benefit and their contrast
Walker (2005) pointed out that many studies estimate the purchasing and installing cost of electric health record to range between $15,000- $70,000 depending on the provider. The costs vary on the electronic heath records depending on whether the organization selected web-based or on-site electronic health record deployment. The web based deployment of HER, also referred to as the software as a service, required the providers to pay the fixed monthly cost subscription. However, on-site deployment requires the providers to pay an ongoing cost to manage and support data services of the onsite.
The average costs of the installation of the electronic health records software as estimated by the IT centre of Michigan centre is provided in the table below. The costs consist of the hardware, the HER software, implementation assistance, training, and the fee of the ongoing network maintenance Lehmann (2006).
The help of Electronic health record software to Health First Medical health centre
In health centre like the Health First Medical, installation of the electronic health record software can assist very much. The following are various areas the software can benefit an organization as indicated by Walker (2005):
Installation of the software can help a health centre in saving of some of their costs. This is because of their improved efficiency which cut down costs that could have been incurred when the health centre was using the paper based record keeping
Quality will improve with the installation of the electronic health record because the integrated patients’ data bases across a larger populations. The integration will yield much information o the treatments which work best. Moreover effectiveness will be realized by following patients over a span of many years. Lehmann (2006) asserted that the patients with health conditions that are complex will benefit from better coordination and communication. However, quality will only be improved in a health centre if they invest in training and also redesigning processes to make good use of the technology.
Increase care access
Lehmann (2006) indicated that installation of the electronic health records software has a potential of increasing access to care to the health centre. The advantage of storing the records of the patients electronically, is when consulting with a physician, the distance becomes irrelevant. Through the installation of the software, the doctors can attends or communicates with the patients through email or telephone. This is beneficial to the patients in managing the chronic diseases.
Software Activation or Utilization and Its Protection
After installation of the software, TSF consultant Management Company assists its clients to protect the software and the data in many ways. First of all, it helps in creation of unlockable passwords that are secure. The company has password management software that helps its clients to void the risks of unauthorized people accessing the login information and accessing the health centers accounts. Similarly, TSF consultant Management Company provides private data activation for every individual worker in the health care facilities. This will enable privacy and avoidance of tampering with the stored information by the individual health care provider.
Because electronic health records involve many parties, that is the families, health care providers and the patients, protection of the clients’ data or information is very crucial to avoid legal problems. TSF consultant Management Company provides data protection services to their clients. To protect the data, TSF consultant management does the following as pointed out by Walker (2005):
- Encourage the health care facilities to turn off their computers at night
- Using of the password on the computers, when accessing the operating systems and the sensitive files and email attachments
- Backing up the data of their clients
- Running tests to test the backups at interval
- Securing the wireless networks of the healthcare facilities
- Using a firewall or antivirus software on the computers
- Removing metadata before sending files through emails
- Moving of the “Reply to all” and the “Forward” buttons in the e-mail programs
Special security to the top officials is also provided to the health care centers. This is for protection of the sensitive or for control of the general applications that are used by many people. Moreover, the electronic health resources software provided by TSF consultant Management Company has an application for picture identification of every client through file sharing. This is smart software that does not just identify the basic information that is needed by the health care providers’ from a client, but it also verify the information. Therefore, it prevents fraud as it confirms the client to the physician is who band whom they claim to be (Walker 2005).
For the protection for the installed electronic health records software, an antivirus is also installed for protection. The antivirus easily check the computer systems for any virus or worms, it quickly find out if the computers of the facility are at risk by detecting the threats that are in the running processes, and finally eradicates any malwares in the computer systems (Walker 2005). Upon the request of the customers, TSF consultant Management Company also provides virtual private network to enhance software and data protection. This will enable the organizations to benefit from their set policies, share information on the internet, and enhanced security. Lastly on the protection of data, the company in collaboration with the client organizations trains the employers how to use the software to avoid losses and to increase efficiency. This is done by educating the employees on the privacy policies and rules of using the electronic health records. The training includes elaborating on who is allowed to access or use the equipments, the requirement of passwords protection, logging off procedures and securing the organizations equipments, email usage, protection of the organizations sensitive information, and requirements for data transfer (Lehmann 2006).
Steps in carrying out HER software installation by TSF consultant Management Company
In carrying out the installation of the software, TSF consultant Management Company uses the following six step road map as suggested by Walker (2005).
- Assessment: In this stage, a project team is formed comprising of members of the clines organization and the staff of TSF consultant Management Company. The team regularly meet and conduct assessment of the office and the equipments
- Planning: Reviewing of the data collected during the assessment stage. The electronic health records implementation objectives are defined, in addition to, identifying of improvement opportunities
- Selection: This covers the configuration of EHR system, the process of selection and the objectives achieved based on the selection. Moreover, selection of the HER system is done in this stage
- Implementation: implementation plan is formulated, with the time lines agreed upon with TSF consultant Management Company. This includes installation, configuration of the software and the hardware.Furthermore, training of staff and testing is conducted.
- Evaluation: conduction of post implementation review and experiences are updated.
- Improvement: modification of EHR is done to resolve encountered issues during the evaluation stage.
In conclusion, EHR is the best way health care organizations should adopt to automate healthcare delivery. There are many benefits of EHR system compared to manual keeping of records as outlined in the discussion. Furthermore, it is cheap and cost effective in addition to high level of security and protection of the data. To revolutionize the healthcare sector, adoption of EHR systems is the best way to go.
Lehmann, H. P. (2006). Aspects of electronic health record systems. New York, Springer. Accessed from http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/0-387-34001-7.
Walker, J. M., Walker, J. M., Bieber, E. J., & Richards, F. (2005). Implementing an electronic health record system. London, Springer. Accessed from http://public.eblib.com/EBLPublic/PublicView.do?ptiID=303743.