Improving Patient Outcomes with a Clinical Data Warehouse Model

Clinical documentation is a vital tool in the health care setting. It protects health care workers in the event of a law suit, is used for billing purposes, and can help the health care worker understand the course of treatment and progress of that particular patient. It can even track past visits, lab results, and the interventions that were successful for the patient. More and more hospitals are moving over to an electronic health record rather than paper documentation to help improve patient care outcomes.

Using a clinical data warehouse model keeps data collected by an electronic health record in a secured database. A consolidated electronic health record, or EHR, gives the health care worker access to the location, patient, event, laboratory results, outcomes of interventions, and billing data. This helps with clinical trial recruitment screening, identifying areas of improvement and standards within an organization, and helps assist with operational factors. It provides access to patterns of treatment, length of stay, and can offer information about outcomes analysis. The electronic data can easily be used to compare with similar health care organizations.

The EHR is set up to screen trial protocols across the inpatient setting, and implement these protocols in a timely manner. Results are available immediately in a rights-managed framework. When using a clinical data warehouse, external information flows are encrypted during all operations and transfers. This makes it compliant with The Protected Health Information section of HIPPA. It utilizes disclosure management and auditable logs unique to each user. The EHR enables health care facilities to work with pharmaceutical and biotech companies without having to enter data twice or repeat documentation. The system lowers the overall cost of health care operations while improving the efficiency of the facility.

Clinical data warehouses can be sorted by patient demographics, hospital admission, discharge and transfer dates, discharge summaries, progress notes, laboratory results, radiology reports, and pathology reports. This data is used to track trends in health care and help improve services while lowering costs. Utilizing a database helps streamline information based on different variables that can help hospitals understand specific areas of the care provided and how to make it better. With the introduction of the clinical data warehouse, we can truly begin to adapt to the changes presented to us in this challenging time in health care.