Jul 10 : Does VA Need More Doctors or Do More Doctors Need Better IT?
By Dr. Donald Voltz, MD, Aultman Hospital, Department of Anesthesiology, Medical Director of the Main Operating Room, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Case Western Reserve University and Northeast Ohio Medical University.
A board-certified anesthesiologist, researcher, medical educator, and entrepreneur. With more than 15 years of experience in healthcare, Dr. Voltz has been involved with many facets of medicine. He has performed basic science and clinical research and has experience in the translation of ideas into viable medical systems and devices.
Thanh Tran, CEO of Zoeticx, Inc. also contributed.
The VA scandal has led to calls for more doctors and nurses to be hired to help alleviate an influx of veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the long-term care of aging vets from Vietnam at its network of 150 veteran hospitals. The department is trying to fill 400 vacancies to add to its roster of 5,100 primary care doctors.
While hiring more doctors would certainly help the VA, another solution, perhaps longer term, is to better utilize their time by allowing physicians to see more patients and spend more time than the average of eight minutes per patient. A key component to every visit is checking the patient’s medical records, and doctors are finding they are wasting valuable patient time by using disparate, and difficult to use EMRs.
We are tired of working with cumbersome EMR systems that make their jobs more difficult and potentially put patients at risk. However, physician efficiencies can be found with improved EMR systems. Clinicians want to spend less time navigating the many disparate hospital EMR systems that offer poor integration with other systems, and result in disconnected patient care.
Hospitals Need to Bridge the Gap between EMRs and Better Patient Outcomes
I believe hospitals need to bridge the gap between EMRs and better patient outcomes with EMR 2.0 solutions like Zoeticx and others that offer collaborative solutions to connect multiple EMRs and provide medical pros with a convenient, consistent and universal view of patient records, regardless of their residence.
What the medical industry needs now is technology that works the way medical professionals work. A system to align medical professionals with data that needs to be collaborative, not passive, and include analysis. The right data also needs to be delivered to those who need it, when they need it, with all the data in one place.
Open APIs Spread Good Health
An open API so third-party developers can save on development costs when creating new, innovative solutions. A cloud-based data network that connects to multiple databases and legacy systems instead of proprietary databases. Systems that make the data smart through collaborative platforms that can analyze and interpret the data.
Add voice to text capability to save valuable physician and nurse time and help end miscommunications. Replace the nurses’ sheet with a single screen that can compare and analyze all the necessary data with all medical professionals using the same device.
While EMR software will still be needed, there needs to be a paradigm shift with a patient centric approach that connects all the points. Smart collaborative hubs need to be developed that enable hospital IT administrators to retain their EMR systems, but enable them to be managed by one central source.
Current EMR organizations can easily integrate with Zoeticx and help alleviate the shortage of physicians.