Why It’s Necessary to Integrate Protocols Into Existing Workflows
Protocols help maintain consistency and improve efficiency and outcomes - especially when they are well-designed, properly maintained, and regularly followed. However, if protocols are not integrated directly into the workflow that they support, the effectiveness is reduced.
Take, for example, the prescription renewal workflow. When a renewal request is received, a provider or staff member must review the request and the patient’s chart against a protocol to determine whether it’s safe to renew. Often these protocols are stored in binders or digitally somewhere outside of the EMR itself. Regardless of where they’re kept, the back and forth between the information in the EMR and protocol content can present the following challenges:
- Slower renewal processing times
- Harder to optimize workflows and improve quality
- Higher chance of missing important gaps in patient care
Because of the potential impact of these challenges, many health systems have chosen to integrate renewal protocols directly into their EMR’s existing workflows. This article takes a closer look at some of the key benefits of implementing healthfinch’s prescription renewal delegation solution, Charlie, and it’s evidence-based renewal protocol content.
Manually digging through documentation and clicking through patient charts is time-consuming, often averaging six minutes per request when processed by non-provider staff. Even when providers complete this task, it can take a few minutes, depending on the complexity of the medication and a patient’s condition.
Integrating protocols directly into the EMR’s renewal workflow greatly streamlines the process. Charlie pulls all relevant data pertaining to the request to the forefront in the EMR, thus eliminating the need for manual chart review. With integrated protocols, the time spent per request can drop to less than a minute for providers or two minutes for non-provider staff.
Integrating protocols within an EMR allows organizations to better monitor their processes, providing more insight into where efficiencies lie versus where they can be improved. Metrics such as average processing time, percentage of renewals that meet protocol, and more, are easier to note when all pieces are integrated and reportable. With this information in hand, health systems can focus on optimization strategies that can further improve efficiency and impact other quality metrics, such as patient compliance and satisfaction.
For more information about key renewal metrics, download our ebook, “Introduction to Prescription Refill Requests.”
Deliver Better Care
Perhaps the biggest benefit of integrating protocols, and specifically, implementing Charlie, is the ability to be more proactive with patient care by quickly identifying care gaps at the time of the renewal. Charlie identifies missed and coming due labs, visits and other monitoring measures based on a patient’s entire active medication list, enabling staff to reach out to patients and close these gaps. As a result, health systems can improve their quality scores and revenue while also enhancing patient safety.
Completing the chart review necessary to identify these potential care gaps and, subsequently, following up with patients, could easily take more time than the estimated six minutes per request mentioned earlier. This is why integrating protocols is so valuable. Providers and staff should be able to spend their days working top of license — not doing routine, yet important, administrative work that can be simplified with a readily available solution.
Integrating Charlie’s prescription renewal protocols directly into your EMR enables staff to complete requests in a matter of minutes, while also increasing patient safety and compliance. Interested in learning more? Request a demo!