The purpose of the article is to assess the effectiveness, compliance, adoption and lessons learnt from the pilot implementation of a data integration solution between an acute care hospital information system (HIS) and a long-term care (LTC) home electronic medical record through a case report.
Utilization statistics of the data integration solution were captured at one-month post implementation and again one year later for both the emergency department (ED) and LTC home. Clinician feedback from surveys and structured interviews was obtained from ED physicians and a multidisciplinary LTC group.
The authors successfully exchanged health information between a HIS and the electronic medical record (EMR) of an LTC facility in Canada. Perceived time savings were acknowledged by ED physicians, and actual time savings as high as 45 min were reported by LTC staff when completing medication reconciliation. Barriers to adoption included awareness, training efficacy and delivery models, workflow integration within existing practice and the limited number of facilities participating in the pilot. Future direction includes broader staff involvement, expanding the number of sites and re-evaluating impacts.
A data integration solution to exchange clinical information can make patient transfers more efficient, reduce data transcription errors, and improve the visibility of essential patient information across the continuum of care.
Although there has been a large effort to integrate health data across care levels in the United States and internationally, the groundwork for such integrations between interoperable systems has only just begun in Canada. The implementation of the integration between an enterprise LTC electronic medical record system and an HIS described herein is the first of its kind in Canada. Benefits and lessons learnt from this pilot will be useful for further hospital-to-LTC home interoperability work.