Vila Health’s, HIM System Characteristics and Needs
Vila Health’s St. Anthony division is struggling with its health information management department use. They are having problems that range from having outdated systems, regulation violations, lack of communication, and ineffective use of the systems themselves just to name a few. These issues raise employee complaints and operational issues that will ultimately affect the organization. The facility has allowed me to find ways to restructure the systems and define the technical roles of its employees. St. Anthony needs a technology package that will streamline its processes, help the organization comply with regulations, and be easy to use, to minimize employee complaints.
Current State of Health Information
Health information management is a necessary condition for conducting health care business. The current state of health information requires integrating the use of HIM, and for now Saint Anthony is not. Most providers have multiple systems for their administrative and financial functions and then clinical staff have different applications. Clinical HIM applications, including patient assessments and progress note documentation, are completed in a separate application, creating issues for those considered clinical staff. This can cause severe delays in workflow, as employees must enter and exit the program to handle a function they need to complete for the patient.
HIM systems are also underused. Staff typically create workarounds, because they feel as if the current system is not flexible enough to perform their needs. User interfaces are not user friendly and this is the same for Vila Health’s applications. System modifications are often required to support personnel on a consistent basis. Because the cost is too high, and because employees have created their own way to handle the necessary features, leaders also don’t consider it necessary to update the application (Sharkey, 2007).
Needs of the Organization
The health information management (HIM) role is the practice of analyzing and protecting medical information. HIM professionals are responsible for the patient’s health information’s quality and protection. Vila Health’s, HIM department must ensure that they are familiar with all methods of capturing health information, storing it, securing it, and accessing it electronically from anywhere. Organizations must ensure that they have skilled HIM professionals to ensure that the organization has the correct information and that information remains highly confidential (AHIMA, 2020).
St. Anthony is struggling with its electronic health record (EHR) on many levels. Although the software is arguably basic, there are many features that are not available to Vila Health, which causes a lack of functionality. The system needs an upgrade to remove the functions that are not being used by staff and create functions for those staff members that have created workarounds. Staff also need to be trained on how to use the application properly. As it stands, there is a limited number of qualified employees that know how to use the application sufficiently. Usability needs to be corrected. There needs to be a simplification of the workflows. There also needs to be clinical integration, it needs to be accessibility to the patient’s records, testing results, any corresponding images, and medication and prescription functions in the system (Walsh, 2004). The EHR currently has it where the clinical staff has to use a completely different application in order to access their tools, because it is set up only for the access of the patient’s health information.
Regulations and Laws
Vila Health’s compliance managers need to ensure they are implementing the controls required by the organization’s different government standards. One struggle the compliance manager will have in this organization is the ability to constantly communicate with all the department heads to align the compliance of the product with the organization. Managers must also continuously monitor the environment and documentation (Walsh, K, 2019)
Due to several violations at Vila Health, privacy and regulations must be adhered to. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) was established to implement legal processes in order to safeguard and secure the privacy and security of medical information. It provides the health system with the authority to establish and improve health care quality, and efficiency through the promotion of health IT. In HIPAA’s guidelines, Title I & II can be found. These titles ensure portability of insurance and require national guidelines for the use of electronic health communications (Health IT.gov, 2020).
Procedures and Practices for Securing Information
Many don’t understand that the organization itself and not the EHR vendor is responsible for protecting the patient’s information. To make sure that you are within the regulation of mandates, you must perform a security review of your health system and correct any areas in which the information could potentially be vulnerable. This includes two phases of startup and maintenance. Start a set of safeguards that require analysis, and then you must maintain the analysis once a month. Some quick tips to have good practices and meet your security needs are to:
The overall goal for Vila Health is to make sure that the chosen technology correlates to not only the patient’s health records, but make sure the clinical staff is able to electronically prescribe, create an option for telehealth, and simply overhaul the whole system. Many of the processes need to be streamlined for the employees’ individual work processes. Doing this is will improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of care that Saint Anthony provides to the patients.
The organization must also make it a priority that the staff is appropriately trained. When staff is inadequately trained in processes, they lack the understanding needed to perform their everyday duties. With the lack of understanding, it has caused staff to create a bevy of workarounds because they don’t know the proper functions of the program (Cresswell, 2013). The training required in St. Anthony needs to fit the individual roles of the employees without limiting the way the system is implemented-- clinicians need unlimited knowledge of all clinical functions as well as basic functions. One thing that has been suggested for the technology would be an alert and tracking system so that staff can track what has been done to the patients over a time. Each role in the organization will be considered and represented with the alert and tracking system. This system will provide alerts to all staff to include when a new patient is admitted and goes on a staff’s workload, to housekeeping notifications, Automated Health Record will be able to do all of this and more.
Management and Monitoring Ethics
The ethical obligations of an organization are crucial to the healthcare industry. It includes safeguarding the health information, having an appropriate disclosure of the information and maintenance of the systems, this is regardless of the way that information is collected and stored (AHIMA, 2020). In an industry where staff must have constant access to the personal information of their patients, having the protection of that information is critical. In Automated Health Record, there will be automatic health logging, that will provide the ability to track movements within the program and interweave multiple levels of security in the interface, including of course password protection-as an additional security measure, password protection will be changed every 90 days. Having these features will provide Saint Anthony with the necessary guarantees to provide patients with technology to provide sage and ethical care.
Overall, there is a need for some new systems put into place to allow for a more streamlined process within Vila Health. Implementing Automated Health Record as the new application for Saint Anthony will eliminate the problems caused by the functionality of multiple procedures that employees must use to perform a task. Health information management can be very valuable to medical centers like St. Anthony if the reality of their environment is taken into account when planning the development of a new program like Automated Health Record.
AHIMA. (2020). Code of Ethics. Retrieved from http://library.ahima.org/doc?oid=105098#.WYXCk4jyvDc\
Cresswell, K. (2015). Health information technology in hospitals: current issues and future trends. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6465875/
Guide to Privacy and Security of Health Information. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.integration.samhsa.gov/operations-administration/privacy-and-security-guide.pdf
Health IT.gov (2020). Laws, Regulations, and Policy. Retrieved from https://www.healthit.gov/topic/laws-regulation-and-policy/health-it-legislation
Sharkey, S. (2007). Health Information Technology: Are Long Term Care Providers Ready? Retrieved from https://collections.nlm.nih.gov/master/borndig/101311182/HITNursingHomeReadiness.pdf
Walsh, K. (2019). The Responsibilities of a Compliance Manager. Retrieved from https://reciprocitylabs.com/the-responsibilities-of-a-compliance-manager/
Walsh, S. (2004). The clinician’s perspective on electronic health records and how they can affect patient care. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC411103/
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