One of the most challenging findings from our user survey last spring, is that 62 percent of respondents said their primary way of obtaining patient information from another provider or facility is to call or fax.
Beyond that, 14 percent use another system, like those used for medication checks, and 6 percent use direct message. Only 18 percent check for patient information through Hixny first. Physicians rely on calls and faxes most (68 percent of them), while care managers fall back on these techniques least (48 percent).
“Of course,” you’re thinking, “Hixny’s CEO wants me to use Hixny.”
Let me explain why. Two studies came out recently that really show the value of health information exchanges (HIEs) in patient care, in one case, and the impact of information available through Hixny, in the other.
The first is a study conducted by researchers at the University of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA). The researchers reviewed all of the emergency department (ED) encounters in one hospital for a year, including whether the physician requested patient data from outside sources through the HIE or by fax or scan directly into the electronic health record (EHR). Not only did accessing the information through the HIE deliver information 52 minutes faster than faxing or scanning, but it saved nearly an hour per encounter, reduced the use of imaging and decreased the estimated charges by $1,187 per patient.
The second study was local, conducted last year at St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy. There, we learned that physicians who accessed patient information through Hixny found data that was not in their own EHR 84 percent of the time—and that information was clinically relevant to their treatment plan. In fact, in 25 percent of cases, the physicians changed their treatment plans in response to the information they found through Hixny.
Whether you’re in the ED, private practice or another situation, you probably care about some combination of time and cost efficiency—and more than that, about patient satisfaction.
The user survey showed that 97 percent of the time, people who use Hixny find the information they need is in the system. It’s immediately retrievable and not resource intensive. Getting the data doesn’t require someone to place a phone call and wait minutes or hours to receive the information they need.
So why, according to the user survey, are 62 percent of Hixny users calling or faxing for information before they look for the data through Hixny? Why not always start with Hixny because it’s quicker and save the call or fax for later, in the rare case it’s needed?
I have a hunch that it comes down to workflow, behavior and habits. If I’m used to turning to somebody and saying, “Get me the report from XYZ Hospital,” and they’re used to picking up the phone that has the hospital records department on speed dial and having the report faxed over, because that’s just what we do, then there’s cycle in place that needs to be evaluated. The St. Mary’s study proves critical information is available through Hixny. The JAMIA report proves the speed of data access has a meaningful impact on patient care and department management. Put it together and thinking of Hixny first allows you to speed up a routine task, lower costs, increase satisfaction and improve quality.