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OCHC highlight: Ambulatory enhancements help drive efficiency and collaboration

Helping clinicians leverage technology to get back to the purpose of care

by Oracle Cerner

Published on 10/17/2022

Clinicians are burning out at alarming rates and consumers are prioritizing lower cost, more convenient options. As care shifts to outpatient settings, the focus on enhancing, and possibly expanding, ambulatory services is a high priority for healthcare executives.

Healthcare technology should help address these issues by creating new efficiencies, providing a venue for collaboration, and enhancing care for patients and communities.

At this year’s Oracle Cerner Health Conference keynote, Nasim Afsar, MD, chief health officer, Oracle Health, highlighted new Cerner Millennium® updates for caregivers in ambulatory settings, beginning with streamlining charting and documentation. These enhancements will also be released across Cerner Millennium to benefit the entire care team.

Charting is a fundamental part of patient care and is needed for operational effectiveness and for informing effective decision-making while partnering with patients in their wellness journeys. That means ensuring everyone on the care team—from scheduler to specialist—needs to have equal access to all relevant data to support patient care.

Unified documentation allows for greater care team collaboration

A critical part of the update is the shift towards having a care team center around “patient documentation” rather than separate workflows for physicians and nurses. With integrated charting, all care team members will be able to quickly find and document the needed information in a single view without having to dig through the chart to find relevant notes from other clinicians, allowing for a one-team approach to patient care.

Similarly, the new problem summary also helps reduce the need to dig in the chart by allowing any member of a care team to enter a quick summary view of a patient’s ongoing condition so that information can easily surface in a single-view source.

“The new problem summary is a game-changer, particularly for caregivers managing patients with chronic conditions,” Afsar said. “Now all of this information can be easily viewed. Caregivers can create a narrative for each problem, and update that story over time with details of what has been tried, what has and hasn’t worked and how a disease has progressed, making it easy for the whole care team to follow along.”

We're creating a more collaborative, multidisciplinary, inclusive workspace

One advantage of the old manila patient folders physicians and nurses previously passed back and forth was that physical papers allowed side-by-side documentation of medications and allergies alongside information about the current condition. This new collaborative workspace will bring back the side-by-side format, this time digitally, so data is accessible when and where providers need it.

"Caregivers can look at previous documentation right next to the clinician’s note, collect their thoughts and document care as they see the patient,” Afsar said.

At-a-glance features help clinicians focus on the patient

The banner bar has been redesigned to provide caregivers the basic demographic information they need about a patient right up top, with more useful information like advance directives, a patient’s clinical trial, or other important information that might impact their clinical care.

The goal of the enhanced banner bar is to give caregivers greater awareness of clinical or social conditions in a non-intrusive manner. Developed with input from clinician users, the banner bar will note if a patient is pregnant, presents with a fall risk, or is experiencing homelessness. A one-click view lets caregivers quickly access relevant information on advisories.

“We’ve included more relevant information right up top, providing a level of clinical awareness of advisories, risks and patient needs like never before,” Afsar said.

The future of work is defined by making care more efficient, collaborative, and safe

Technology can and should support caregivers as they care for patients. Oracle Cerner is focused on helping clinicians get back to the purpose of care. Together, these updates will help caregivers gain an understanding of the patient’s history more quickly, and collaborate across the care team, freeing up time so they can spend it face-to-face with patients.

Learn more about ambulatory products.