Blog | HR |
10 Min Read
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September 7, 2023

Benefits of HCM & EHR Integration for Healthcare HR

by Morris Isaacson

In the rapidly evolving world of long-term care, providers are constantly seeking ways to stay ahead of the curve. The integration of human capital management (HCM) systems with electronic health record (EHR) and electronic medical record (EMR) systems has played a pivotal role in this process, offering unprecedented efficiencies and enhanced data sharability.

 

Integration is a strategic move that can help you maintain a competitive edge in a stringent regulatory environment. Of course, EHR/EMR integration with HR and payroll systems can be a complex endeavor. And achieving optimum interoperability can be even more complicated.

 

The journey toward interoperability goes beyond merely merging systems. By understanding the intricacies of healthcare interoperability and leveraging its power, you can streamline your operations, make data-driven, informed decisions, and deliver better patient care.

How EMRs/EHRs Are Used in Long-Term Care

EMRs and EHRs have revolutionized the way long-term care providers manage patient information. These digital systems replace traditional paper records for a more efficient and accurate method of storing, retrieving, and sharing patient data.

But what exactly are these systems, and how do they impact long-term care?

 

What They Do

 

An EMR is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. It contains a comprehensive view of a patient’s health journey within a single practice. Some of the information contained in an EMR includes:

 

● Diagnoses

● Medications

● Lab results

● Allergies

● Medical history

● Vital signs

● Radiology images

● Treatment outcomes

● Progress and consultation notes

An EHR is a broader system that encompasses and integrates data from all the clinicians involved in a patient’s care. EHRs provide a more holistic view of a patient’s health across different healthcare settings and providers instead of just one practice. They hold all the information found in EMR systems, plus:

 

● Referral information

● Health maintenance activities

● Emergency room visits

● Clinical communication and correspondence

● External clinical documents and transcriptions

 

How They’re Used

 

EMRs play a pivotal role in facilitating continuity of care in long-term care facilities. They allow healthcare providers to track patient data over time, monitor changes, and make sure patients receive appropriate care based on their medical history and current health status.

 

EHRs have a broader scope, so they’re instrumental in long-term care settings where patients often interact with multiple care providers. They give every provider access to the same information, which enables better care coordination and reduces the chances of medical errors.

 

Areas for Improvement

 

While EMRs and EHRs have transformed patient care for the better, there are several areas where they fall short, including:

 

Data silos: Data within these systems often remain isolated. When the information is siloed in this way, it makes it challenging for healthcare providers to get a comprehensive view of a patient’s health. It also disrupts communication, which can result in delays and miscommunication that negatively impact patient outcomes.

 

Integration with HR systems: One significant deficiency is the lack of connection between nurse shift data and HR/payroll software systems. This disconnect can lead to inefficiencies in workforce management and negatively impact patient care.

 

User experience: Many systems aren’t as intuitive as they could be. They have steep learning curves and complicated interfaces that disrupt workflows and hinder care. These factors can lead to resistance from healthcare professionals during implementation.

6 Ways HCM and EMR/EHR Integration Helps Long-Term Care Providers

Integrating HCM, EMR, and EHR is a strategic decision that offers tangible benefits to long-term care providers in six key ways:

 

1. Streamlined Operations

 

Integrating HCM with EMR and EHR systems allows long-term care providers to create a seamless workflow. For example, when a nurse logs extra hours because of an emergency, the payroll system can automatically reflect this data to ensure accurate compensation.

 

In addition, integrating nurse shift data with payroll systems helps with demand forecasting, reduces errors and administrative burdens, and saves valuable administrative time.

 

2. Improved Data Accuracy

 

Even a minor data inconsistency can have significant repercussions in the healthcare industry. Integrated systems ensure that data entered in one platform is automatically updated across other platforms.

 

For instance, suppose a nurse undergoes additional training and receives a certification. This can be updated in the HR system and automatically reflected in the EHR system. The nurse can then get assigned tasks aligned with their new skills.

 

This data synchronization facilitates consistency, reduces the chances of oversite, and improves overall data accuracy.

 

3. Enhanced Patient Care

 

Every healthcare provider aims to offer the best possible care to their patients. If a patient requires specialized care, it’s important that they meet a healthcare professional with the necessary expertise. An integrated system allows HR to make sure they assign the right professionals to the right patients, thereby maximizing the facility’s care potential.

 

Streamlined communication and real-time updates also ensure that all care providers are on the same page. This boosts the quality of care and reinforces patient safety and satisfaction.

 

4. Informed Decision Making

 

EMR integration solutions provide a holistic view of both patients and healthcare professionals. Long-term care managers can use data to monitor trends, such as frequent patient complaints or high employee turnover in certain departments.

 

With this comprehensive data, long-term care providers can utilize informed decisions across operations, from staffing adjustments to targeted training programs.

 

5. Cost Efficiency

 

Inefficiencies and errors can be costly. Automating manual processes like time tracking and payroll calculations can significantly reduce administrative overheads.

 

Reducing errors can also help you use your resources optimally and avoid potential error-related legal complications, leading to substantial cost savings.

 

6. Better Compliance and Reporting

 

It’s no secret that the long-term care sector is governed by stringent regulations and requirements. Therefore, compliance is paramount to the success of every community. However, compliance often subjects long-term care providers to meticulous record-keeping and reporting.

 

HCM and EMR/EHR integrations can streamline record-keeping processes and keep healthcare providers audit-ready at all times. The unified system can automatically track and document necessary compliance information, from employee certifications to patient care records.

 

It can also quickly generate comprehensive and customized reports showcasing adherence to staffing ratios, employee qualifications, and patient care protocols. This functionality reduces administrative burden and makes sure you’re always in line with regulatory requirements, reducing the risk of non-compliance penalties.

EMR/EHR Integration and HR Interoperability

In the realm of healthcare, the terms “integration” and “interoperability” are often used interchangeably. However, they each have unique concepts.

 

What is Integration?

So, what is EHR integration? And what is EMR integration? Put simply, integration brings together information from various sources for a more comprehensive understanding. For example, integrating EHR with EMR offers real-time access to lab results, expedited diagnoses, and clinical decisions.

 

What is Interoperability?

Interoperability centers around seamlessly exchanging data between multiple independent software platforms without middleware. Interoperable solutions improve efficiency by reducing

reliance on legacy systems. While systems from different vendors need to be interoperable, it’s equally vital for data integration across a healthcare organization’s digital infrastructure.

 

Synergy Between Integration and Interoperability

 

In essence, integration focuses on harmonizing healthcare IT solutions, while interoperability focuses on seamless communication between primary care and other systems — such as HR and payroll systems.

 

Despite their differences, integration and interoperability aren’t disconnected. In fact, they’re closely intertwined in the context of healthcare.

 

How so?

 

Integration — such as merging HR systems with EMR/EHR — sets the foundation for broader interoperability. When systems are integrated, they can communicate and share data seamlessly. This interoperability leads to data flowing smoothly across different platforms so that all systems are on the same page.

Flexible HCM Prerequisite for Capable Healthcare HR Tech Stack

For a robust healthcare HR tech stack, you must have a flexible HCM system. Such a system can seamlessly integrate with other healthcare HR digital solutions, allowing you to streamline operations and provide quality patient care.

 

Are you looking for interoperable systems and solutions tailored to healthcare HR? Empeon offers a suite of tools designed to meet the unique needs of healthcare HR, including the long-term care sector. Book a demo to see how our wide array of customized solutions can elevate your HR operations.


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