First Do No Harm: Workflow Integration in Healthcare

October 18, 2019 by Drew Smith

The phrase “first do no harm” expresses the underlying ethical rules of modern medicine. As the healthcare industry moves from paper-driven, manual methods to increasingly sophisticated digital and cloud-based systems, network administrators face Brave New World challenges, like protecting sensitive patient data from hackers. Keeping this information safe and secure is mandatory for HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance. Innovations like Electronic Health Records (EHR) have revolutionized the practice of medicine but also raise the stakes of a breach. No matter the size of the practice, change is inevitable. “First do no harm” can serve as a guiding principle for incorporating new applications and devices with multi-function printers (MFP). Technology specialists at Copiers Plus stand ready to help you address security concerns raised here.

Workflow Integration

Workflow takes place everywhere and—simply put—includes a sequence of physical and mental tasks performed by various people within and between work environments. As in other sectors, healthcare workflows can be implemented organization-wide, in single departments, or just in your head. Workflows occur before, during, or after a patient visit.

Healthcare is especially rife with repetitive, predictable tasks. Administrators plot out these tasks as a series of conditional steps, or workflows—with increasing reliance on new technologies. Automated workflows, designed to reduce human error and increase efficiency, use process management tools. Consider the following applications for automation software:

Clinical Follow-up
Transfer test results into an EHR system over the cloud network to help medical practitioners understand a patient’s condition and offer accurate treatment.

Patient Admission and Discharge
In a traditional manual, paper-based workflow, discharge approvals are tedious. With an automated workflow, approval steps are done in real time. Similarly, the admission process can be automated to make the process quicker and more reliable. The process often goes through registration, billing, and insurance routes.

Managing the staff rotation and on-call roster
By linking your scheduling software with workflow management software, you can expedite approvals for schedules and notify staff immediately.

Staff onboarding
Implementing an automated system will eliminate redundancies so your new staff will fill out forms only once and all stakeholders are up to date.

Other opportunities for workflow integration include:

  • Accelerating help desk response times
  • Appointment follow-up
  • Checking insurance eligibility
  • Claim processing
  • Automated alerts on patient medications

First Do No Harm
Simply stated by Drs. Jason Lee and Adele Shartzer:
For clinicians, the standards underlying the revamping of workflow should always be focused on improving patient safety, enhancing the quality of patient data collected, enriching workflow efficiency, and improving distribution of workflow tasks. 96

As you assess your healthcare workflow integration needs, ask Copiers Plus.
Kyocera recently introduced the process management software MyQ. This customizable, server-based solution provides network administrators with the ability to manage all devices in their fleet through a single web-based interface, one significant step toward streamlining and securing sensitive patient information.