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by Dr Khalid Alyefei | Dr Nader El Shehabi | Jacob Ankrah
Published on September 17, 2020

Proper communication in health care is a keystone in the patient care process, ensuring a safe and efficient patient journey during their visits to the health care facilities. With World Patient Safety Day 2020, it’s important to recognize that while there is still a pandemic across the globe, efforts to enhance and keep all our patients safe are still occurring every day. Sidra Medicine in Qatar is one such organization that has continued to address this ongoing concern via its use of Cerner tools and solutions.

Sidra is working hard on ensuring that all communications become a closed-loop process by keeping clinicians aware of what needs to happen for their patients. Sidra has faced challenges with physicians promptly checking Cerner Message Center for important patient information that needs to be addressed. This caused some documentation deficiencies, including situations where attending physicians were not cosigning residents’ notes promptly. As an academic health care center, signing residents note is key to the medical education process, and to ensure the quality of the information in the patients’ files. Another high-risk situation that Sidra knew there were gaps within was the Do Not Resuscitate workflow, which is a high-stakes communication process with zero tolerance to errors.

The classic approach to these issues was to show pop-up alerts to clinicians about such gaps in documentation or missing elements once they open the chart. Sidra wanted to avoid the pop-up alerts due to alert fatigue, and the fact that there were delays related to waiting until the clinician opened the chart for specific patients. To address this, Sidra IT developed a logic-leveraging Cerner clinical decision support module (EKM engine) to intelligently send email reminders to physicians with critical steps in the EHR (Electronic Health Record) that lack complete patient-related information. Now, this pushes the most important notifications to the fingertips of the physicians who carry their smartphones all the time. Through implementing these reminders, the result has been a significant improvement in the documentation gaps and the above-mentioned missing steps and/or data points.

We plan to expand on this by taking the EHR to the fingertips of clinicians who are always on the go. This new functionality will be more mobile and easier for clinicians to utilize while caring for patients. The Cerner EKM engine provides us with a lot of capability to intelligently guide and support clinicians as they perform their duties, and Sidra plans on continuing to fully leverage these capabilities to deliver the safest possible care to their patients while also equipping their clinicians with the tools to enhance patient safety and care delivery.