How Thoughtful EHR Design Might Have Saved an Ebola Patient in the USA

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Intellicure weighs in on recent health concerns that have led to an evaluation of electronic medical record documentation and patient safety.

The recent death of an Ebola patient in Dallas underscores a fundamental danger of hospital and potentially, other electronic health records. According to a recent CNSNews.com report published on October 3, 2014, the ER nurse working in her “nursing” record noted that the patient had recently traveled to Liberia. This was in the section of the chart where immunizations and travel were recorded, a part of the record segregated from the doctor’s documentation. The argument for this segregation was to allow the nurse to be able to document and sign-off her portion of the chart independently. The argument for this was one of “work flow.” The nurses can complete their “paperwork” and the physicians can complete theirs. Very efficient. Very deadly.

"As a clinician based company, Intellicure built an EHR for the way patient centered care should be delivered – in a collaborative process between the advanced practitioner and the nurse," stated Caroline Fife, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Intellicure. "We have maintained a commitment to a shared record between these clinicians. Separate work flows for the physician and the nurse leads to segregation of care. Segregation of care increases the risk of medical errors. In this case, not only was the patient's outcome affected, but there are significant public health consequences for many other people."

Nursing documentation is an integral part of the wound center chart. There is no “nurse only” portion of the wound center chart. Every observation that the nurse makes is a vital portion of the wound center chart and contributes to the appropriate care of the patient. "Segregation of nursing notes increases the risk that their notes will not be properly reviewed by the advanced practitioner and incorporated into the clinical decision making process," added Fife. Intellicure created the “Do The Right Thing™” initiative to encourage effective, efficient, evidence based wound care.

Do The Right Thing and share the record.

About Intellicure
Intellicure, Inc., is the leading provider of collaborative wound care solutions in the healthcare industry. Our mission is to harness technology to optimize patient care, ensure revenue integrity, and enable clinical research to develop healing solutions for patients who need it most. Intellicure was recently recognized by Inc. Magazine as an Inc. 500|5000 finalist, the Houston Business Journal as a Fast 100 and Fast Tech 50 company based on outstanding growth, as well as a Best Place to Work in Houston. For more information, please visit: http://www.Intellicure.com.

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Ginger Tolar
Intellicure, Inc
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