At the 20th Annual Ambulatory Surgery Centers Conference in Chicago on Oct. 24, Mary Hibdon, RN, of Cerner, delved into the impact technology will have on physician practices in the future.
Electronic medical records and other practice management technologies are changing how ASCs access technology and communicate across caregivers, she said. ASCs will need to access their electronic readiness before considering joining a health information exchange, which will eventually be mandatory.
“We are at a crossroads,” she said. “Our decisions now will decide whether we are successful in the future. HHS is accelerating HIE. It’s the future of healthcare. Payers will buy into that.”
Adopting electronic technology is not just about changing the instrument of documentation from a pen to a device. It will ultimately allow physicians to access information securely from anywhere and enable greater care collaboration.
Surveys have shown patients are willing to change physicians if it means they will be able to access their health information. “That tells you what customers are thinking,” Ms. Hibdon says.
The convenience of health technology spans across abilities such as:
• Reducing the need for patients to fill out forms
• Patient questionnaires that will become discreet data in a record
• Virtual video conferencing to replace patient home visits
“Mobility is a reality,” she said. “Healthcare is recognized as the number three industry that will grow the fastest in mobility in five years. ASCs do not want to be the only venue in the continuum of care whose records cannot be accessed.
“Healthcare is known for its inefficiency and redundancy,” she added. “ASCs are efficient. You bring so much to the industry. Don’t get left out because you can’t communicate with the rest of the continuum.”
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