Posted on behalf of Katie Jankowski, Software Engineer

I’m sure we’ve all heard Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “Time is Money”, but have you ever really thought of what that means?
In today’s healthcare industry, time is of the essence. Notifications are a hot topic within EHR systems and healthcare software, especially as it relates to interoperability. Whether it be notifications to a patient that their appointment has been confirmed or to the IT director that their interface engine is down, both of these are essential to receive, and in a timely fashion.
Often times we receive information when it’s too late – being REACTIVE instead of being PROACTIVE. But, what if we could relieve ourselves of this burden using notifications?

  • A patient demographic interface hasn’t received any messages in an hour. Boom. An email alert is sent out to the IT staff informing them of this, and the staff logs into the server and resolves the issue. Thankfully this was noticed right away, avoiding vendors missing patient data for an entire day or even longer.
  • A patient comes into the office complaining about knee pain and has an MRI. The MRI results are finalized the following day and the patient needs surgery. Boom. An email notification is sent out to the patient and doctor stating that the results are ready. Now the surgery date can be scheduled, as opposed to the patient reaching out to the doctor’s office each day inquiring about results being ready.
  • A doctor discharges one of his/her patients but the patient returns to the hospital the following day. Boom. An email notification is sent to the doctor that one of their patients has a recurring hospital visit. The doctor can be updated immediately about the patient’s status, and expect a CCD in his/her direct email inbox upon patient discharge.
  • A hospital’s downtime system runs report-generating scripts every hour, but the scripts haven’t been running because of a change in the EHR system that wasn’t accounted for. Boom. An email notification is sent out to the IT staff stating that there is an error with the scripts. If there is any type of system downtime, the availability of these reports will now be ensured for the hospital staff as opposed to realizing the reports were missing after the system is already down.

In the healthcare setting, real-time information is necessary and expected. Time isn’t something that can be wasted when patient care is involved.
Therefore, notifications are becoming essential to achieving great patient care. This is the beauty of healthcare innovation today, patients can be treated quicker if the results of testing are known quicker. Issues can be resolved quicker when staff is notified about the issue quicker.
These notifications can come in many forms, more commonly an email notification, but text message notifications along with many other avenues are also being explored throughout the industry.
Summit Healthcare understands how important notifications are as well. This is why we have included alerting and email notifications within our products. We understand that time really is money and that, if possible, knowing about an impending issue is better than knowing about a prevailing issue.
As a healthcare software company, Summit Healthcare also understands that not all hospitals are alike. Customers are able to customize their notification settings based on many different parameters, and these notifications can be configured to send to multiple recipients.