A number of large health systems find themselves in a situation where they have multiple EHRs deployed across various locations. There can be many reasons for this, including:
- Industry Consolidation: When systems merge, they inherit the EHRs that had been deployed at each hospital, and they are often not the same. Transitioning to a dominant EHR is a lengthy process and may not even happen. Research published by Health Affairs in 2018 revealed that just one-third of acquired hospitals switched to the dominant vendor of their acquiring system, while 44% remained on a different EHR system.
- Best-of-Breed choices: At some point in the past, different locations or departments within the system decided for legitimate reasons to adopt best-of-breed EHRs that were available when they transitioned to electronic records.
- Partnerships: Sometimes health systems invest in or joint venture with ambulatory surgery centers and other providers in the community that may come with their own native health record applications.
Unfortunately, there is neither standardization nor true interoperability amongst EHRs today. So in such multi-EHR settings, health systems typically struggle to adopt common processes and access transparent, safe, and actionable analytics. The data schema of each EHR, the capabilities, what’s allowed (e.g. how blocks are set up), and how metrics are defined can all be different across the EHR. Governance in this situation can be a nightmare – it’s as if Delta Airlines had a different process for how to serve passengers at every airport, from booking flights to printing boarding passes or checking in bags.
This is where cloud-based solutions like iQueue for Operating Rooms come in. iQueue can be the “bridge” between localized EHR data and centralized system wide intelligence. Despite disparate EHRs, and even (especially) during times of transition, having such a bridge is invaluable.
iQueue for Operating Rooms is an EHR-agnostic, AI/ML-based predictive and prescriptive analytics solution that empowers hospitals and health systems to maximize operating room (OR) utilization by optimizing block and open time. It’s a powerful tool that securely sits outside of the firewall, works across EHRs, and provides access and computing capabilities to predictive and prescriptive analytics. Learn more about why our customers trust iQueue to create transparency in both single and multi-EHR settings.
1. Systemness: iQueue creates a system-wide governance policy and standardizes metrics and definitions across a multi-EHR system so that leaders can aggregate and compare data, no matter the source, at every level of the organization to make confident decisions. CommonSpirit achieved systemness not by integrating all of its hospitals onto the same EHR, but by using iQueue to create a common set of policies, procedures, tools, and training.
2. Standard processes : iQueue creates valuable standardization across EHRs, including processes for block releases and time requests to reduce variation, eliminate manual work and potential for human error, and create efficient workflows.
3. Business continuity and disaster recovery: When managing an EHR conversion or structural change like acquisitions and divestitures, iQueue makes it very simple to add or remove a site and still retain the same process to analyze data and metrics, find time, and book cases. iQueue is also reliable during times of crisis; if a hospital’s EHR is unexpectedly down, iQueue still allows schedulers to see availability, request time, and book cases through access to Case Scheduling.
4. Streamlined & digitized scheduling: iQueue supports end-to-end, paperless completion of the surgical scheduling process by automatically transmitting complete, accurate case information and providing full visibility into surgeon schedules.
5. Anytime, anywhere access: iQueue is cloud-based and available across EHRs every day, all day, wherever there is mobile and web access, to communicate business critical information.
6. Data safeguards: During EHR migrations or transitions, iQueue creates consistency in analytics by storing data from the old EHR and normalizing it with the new one, providing a safeguard against lost operational data. Data consistency also protects against patient safety threats; researchers from Penn Medicine note a potential and dangerous risk during EHR transitions “from limited access to legacy records and different definitions or standards for data.”
7. Clinic and private practice integration: iQueue easily onboards with new clinics and private surgeon practices entering the system via partnerships, minority investments, or mergers so that they can find OR time even if they aren’t on the same underlying EHR. iQueue makes it easy for clinics and private practices to do business with health systems, which in turn helps expand surgical volumes in competitive markets.
8. Real-time analytics: iQueue delivers powerful AI/ML-based predictive analytics that are always current so analysts are no longer constrained by historical data. These analytics are delivered consistently across the system, irrespective of the diversity of data quality, data definition, or workflows in a multi-EHR environment.
9. Infinite scaling: iQueue is cloud-native with no local hardware, storage, or server limitations, making it easy to rapidly scale advanced AI/ML analytics programs without additional infrastructure.
10. Low IT lift: iQueue is a lightweight IT implementation, requiring only a small amount of EHR data (independent of EHR) to create a unique AI/ML fingerprint for accurate predictive and prescriptive analytics. The iQueue customer engagement and success team provides ‘whiteglove’ customer and change management services during onboarding, plus ongoing education and training throughout the relationship.