The healthcare industry is one of the largest employment sectors in the country and is currently experiencing huge levels of growth. Healthcare administrators are responsible for keeping the industry running smoothly by performing duties that involve finance, management, and strategic planning. These individuals must be proficient in nearly every area required to manage a practice. Often, they are held responsible for the current nationwide electronic medical records conversion that will enable comprehensive health information exchange.
These highly skilled professionals play no small part in the operation of a healthcare facility. Involvement in the daily functioning of the facility is included in their job descriptions. In addition, they may take center stage when it comes to the government-mandated initiative to convert patient medical records from paper to electronic. This process involves installing an electronic medical records (EMR) system within the facility, a project that should not be underestimated and involves great attention to detail during the selection and installation phases.
Setting up the EMR Interface is the first step in a very complex process. Once the interface is established, physicians must be educated to perform CPOE, or computerized physician order entry. In the CPOE process, the physician enters patient orders electronically via a physician portal accessed through a tablet computer, PDA, laptop, or other device. In most cases, the administrator will be the one conducting the training, unless the facility is large enough to contract a trainer knowledgeable in this area.
EMR Integration is the next step and often requires the use of a skilled IT professional. Integrating the EMR system with those used by hospitals, labs, and health plans enables health data to be exchanged. A hospital or lab can log into the system and view the patient record created by the primary care physician. This multi-party access to identical information ensures the highest quality of care and eliminates redundancies and errors. Without the services of these IT workers, none of this would be possible.
Health care administrators are often not working alone in this process designed to make health information exchange more convenient and paper-free. They have the help of software professionals and vendors skilled in EMR Integration. Administrators at larger hospitals and labs may also find the assistance of a health information technology trainer very helpful because this individual can educate the staff on the use of the new system. Throughout the process, the administrator will likely serve as the go-to person for the facility.