Four Ways to Support Patient Safety Through Healthcare Technology and Communication

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By CereCore | Mar 18, 2022

3 minute read Blog| MEDITECH| Technology| Epic| EHR/EPR

Making sure the right clinical staff receive test results on time, documenting medication information, taking advantage of alerts and alarms – here are just a few examples of communications supporting quality, safe patient care. Often technology serves as the conduit to streamline and deliver these communications. Integrated clinical care platforms have become the source of truth for care providers and having mobile access is crucial for timely communication about patient care. Great responsibility comes in protecting the patient data and patient safety could hinge on crucial conversations to mitigate the risks of a ransomware attack.  

The sheer number of platforms, medical devices, and specialty applications in the healthcare setting means that there is always more we can do to leverage our technologies to support patient safety. From nursing staff to the C-suite, below are highlights of practical ways technology and communication can support patient safety.  

Nursing: Care plans help nurses communicate and coordinate care 

Has your organization taken advantage of Clinical Care Classification (CCC) for nursing plans of care (POCs)? CCC has specific care plans identified to help improve patient safety. By selecting specific care plan diagnoses, a nurse can alert other nursing staff and the multi-disciplinary team to potential patient safety needs for patients. The interventions associated with these diagnoses help drive care teams to ensure that the holistic patient is well taken care of. 

For example, under the Healthcare Pattern of “Health behavior problem/risk” a selection of 12 major care plans can be added to a patient care plan, and they help identify areas that will promote patient safety. Those Nursing Diagnoses include the following: 

  • Injury risk 
  • Violence risk 
  • Medication risk 
  • Procedural/Periop risk 
  • Perinatal risk 
  • Reproduction risk 
  • Noncompliance 
  • Substance abuse 
  • Health maintenance 
  • Health-seeking behavior 
  • Home maintenance  
  • Restraint Safety precautions 

In addition, CCC drives interventions (specific to each care plan problem) to help guide care teams to Assess, Perform, Teach, and Manage: 

  • Compliance Care – adherence to care regimen 
  • Community Special Services 
  • Engage Nursing, Physicians, and other Professional/Ancillary services where needed 
  • Promote Safety precautions 
  • Violence Control 
  • Emergency Care 
  • Substance Abuse control 
  • Perioperative Injury prevention 
  • Medication care – support use of prescribed drugs or remedies regardless of route 
  • Chemotherapy care 
  • Injection administration 
  • Radiation Therapy care 
  • Perinatal care 
  • Reproductive care 

By taking advantage of CCC Care plans, your nursing staff can be empowered to communicate the specific safety needs for each patient. For general information about CCC, refer to the Coding for nursing – Clinical Care Classification System website. We have developed a packaged solution that fast tracks implementing CCC within Epic. If you need help or advice, contact the Epic CereCore team for more information.  

Mobility: App keeps clinicians informed 

Do you need help with your mobile strategy, especially when it comes to Epic? The timeliness that mobile apps offer to nurses, physicians, and care teams can be a game changer when it comes to improving patient safety. For example, in the Epic Rover app nurses can complete medication administration and view administration warnings as they pop up. 

Check out more practical ways that the Epic Rover app can help on-the-go clinicians. 

EHR: Modern features in MEDITECH Expanse facilitate communication 

MEDITECH Expanse offers improved interoperability so that health systems can more easily exchange data with a variety of health institutions across a number of platforms. Access to relevant clinical patient information when and where it’s needed most could help your health system achieve patient safety goals. 

In addition, clinical toolkits within Expanse put the patient at the center of care, help achieve workflow efficiencies more easily, and address a variety of patient safety issues. Over the years MEDITECH has updated these toolkits and now they are only available in Expanse.  

Perhaps you have been weighing your options when it comes to modernizing your EHR. What do you wish your health system or hospital could do for your community, but you can’t because of limitations with your current EHR?  

Download this ebook to learn more about the path to MEDITECH Expanse and where you should begin. 

Cybersecurity: Mitigate Ransomware Risks 

In the recent podcast Cybersecurity Report: FBI & AHA discuss Russia, Ukraine and Cybersecurity in U.S. Health Care Sector from the Advancing Health Podcast by the American Hospital Association, awareness, monitoring, and communication awareness are key when it comes to effectively responding to cyber crimes. FBI Cyber Engagement and Intelligence Section Chief Dave Ring and John Riggi, National Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk at the American Hospital Association discussed how data theft crimes were different than ransomware attacks on hospitals. Ransomware attacks may disrupt or delay patient care, risking patient safety, making them “threat to life crimes.” 

Jeff Bell, CISO for CereCore Advisory Services, shared seven key areas of cybersecurity safeguards that will help reduce ransomware risks. One of the first steps to mitigating the risk of ransomware attacks is to raise awareness with leadership teams and boards around the risk your organization faces, and determine if the level of risk justifies additional investment in cybersecurity technology and services.  

Each communication point within the healthcare ecosystem could be an opportunity to improve patient safety. From a quick-win tactic to long-range strategy, each improvement helps enable a safer, higher quality patient care experience. 

Wondering what the level of cybersecurity risk is for your healthcare organization? Ask our advisory team about a cybersecurity risk assessment 

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