Notifications of hospital events to outpatient clinicians using health information exchange: a post-implementation survey.
Inform Prim Care. 2012;20(4):249-55
Authors: Altman R, Shapiro JS, Moore T, Kuperman GJ
BACKGROUND: The trend towards hospitalist medicine can lead to disjointed patient care. Outpatient clinicians may be unaware of patients' encounters with a disparate healthcare system. Electronic notifications to outpatient clinicians of patients' emergency department (ED) visits and inpatient admissions and discharges using health information exchange can inform outpatient clinicians of patients' hospital-based events.
OBJECTIVE: Assess outpatient clinicians' impressions of a new, secure messaging-based, patient event notification system.
METHODS: Twenty outpatient clinicians receiving notifications of hospital-based events were recruited and 14 agreed to participate. Using a semi-structured interview, clinicians were asked about their use of notifications and the impact on their practices.
RESULTS: Nine of 14 interviewed clinicians (64%) thought that without notifications, they would have heard about fewer than 10% of ED visits before the patient's next visit. Nine clinicians (64%) thought that without notifications, they would have heard about fewer than 25% of inpatient admissions and discharges before the patient's next visit. Six clinicians (43%) reported that they call the inpatient team more often because of notifications. Eight users (57%) thought that notifications improved patient safety by increasing their awareness of the patients' clinical events and their medication changes. Key themes identified were the importance of workflow integration and a desire for more clinical information in notifications.
CONCLUSIONS: The notification system is perceived by clinicians to be of value. These findings should instigate further message-oriented use of health information exchange and point to refinements that can lead to even greater benefits.
PMID: 23890336 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]