Vocera Integration with Electronic Health Records Solution Brief

Improving care coordination by extending the power of the EHR

The adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) has revolutionized the way health information is generated and accessed, resulting in improved healthcare quality, patient safety, and care coordination. The EHR automates and streamlines many aspects of the clinician’s workflow, and supports important care-related activities including evidence-based decision support, quality management, and outcomes reporting.

EHRs are also changing the way caregivers access information and communicate with one another, and not always for the better. For example, with the transition to computerized provider order entry (CPOE), care team members must regularly log into the EHR or check printers to be made aware of new orders and, depending on the system or user, there may not be an easy way for them to quickly locate the information they need. This inefficient process can cause treatment to be delayed or improperly delivered, potentially leading to longer inpatient stays, a poor patient experience, and care team dissatisfaction.

However, by coupling the rich data and functionality of the EHR with Vocera’s real-time communication solutions, health systems can further automate and optimize their clinical workflows, improving care delivery and team efficiency. Through integration with Vocera a notification for a new order can be sent directly from the EHR to the right team member, at the right time, on the right device, with the right information, in the right place—significantly shortening turnaround times.

EHR Notifications

Improve team efficiency and patient care with proactive alerts for key events

Information about patients can change rapidly and care team members may not always see time-sensitive updates as quickly as needed, potentially delaying care. EHR notifications enable alerts from the EHR to be delivered directly to the people who need them most on their Vocera® Collaboration Suite mobile application or the Vocera Communication Badge. These simple one-way notifications can be sent for stat orders, critical test results, consult requests, transport and housekeeping requests, patient admissions/discharges/transfers and any other updates the EHR can deliver. This solution changes the workflow from an information “pull” to a proactive “push,” reducing the frequency with which the team needs to check the EHR for updates.

EHR Two-Way Integration

Improve patient flow and visibility into event status through real-time EHR updates

Healthcare supervisors and administrators need a clear line of sight into a variety of events in the hospital, particularly as they relate to patient flow. In order for management to obtain reliable up-to-the-minute information, environmental services, transport and other ancillary staff must document regular updates in the EHR. The process of providing those updates can be cumbersome, requiring staff to locate a workstation, log in, navigate to the appropriate area, and document their status. Already busy team members often skip these important steps.

EHR Two-Way Integration simplifies this process, enabling staff to update the status of key events in the EHR directly from their Vocera Badge or Collaboration Suite application. This workflow reduces the frequency and time spent logging into the EHR, streamlining the end user’s experience and increasing the likelihood that they will provide timely updates.

The initial application of this technology has been designed for Environmental Services. Housekeepers receive a bed cleaning request on their Vocera Badge, and are prompted to verbally respond when the cleaning is in progress and complete. Their responses automatically update the status in the EHR in real time. An ideal replacement for one-way pager notifications, this solution maximizes housekeepers’ time on turning beds instead of focusing on administrative tasks, while improving the accuracy of bed availability information for supervisors. Planned enhancements include the ability for staff to mark the start and end of breaks, and the end of their shift, with verbal commands.

EHR Desktop and Mobile App Integration

Streamline communications and simplify the user experience by linking frequently used applications

Care team members spend significant time reviewing and updating patient charts in the EHR—whether on a computer, or on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Coordinating effective patient care also requires that they communicate regularly with other members of the team, which they do with the Vocera browser-based web console and mobile application. Simply put, they have multiple tools at their disposal, but must manually switch between applications for efficient collaboration.

Vocera technology has bridged our communication gaps – allowing instant hands-free voice calls, improving patient care coordination, and enhancing staff and patient safety by reducing response times.

Norman Bowman, Clinical Ward Administrator at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

The Vocera numbers speak for themselves, and they show this technology can dramatically reduce the time it takes to connect with a colleague and get a response. That has a real impact on the care we provide.

Adrian Plunkett, Paediatric Intensivist Consultant at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital

Vocera Badges allow our team to safely communicate under PPE during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Victoria Sudron, Service Improvement Coordinator at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust

Since implementing Vocera, we no longer have communication delays due to the ‘page and wait’ scenario.

Nick Roper, Clinical Director at North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Trust
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