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The central nervous system’s guide to effective EHRs

When developing the Sunrise electronic health record (EHR) platform, we had a different vision than our competitors. We modeled Sunrise after one of the most intelligent networks: the central nervous system (CNS).

Evaluation is at the core of Sunrise

The CNS governs most processes in living organisms. It senses information, detects changes, evaluates input and takes action. Constantly monitoring, integrating and evaluating countless transactions, the CNS is the intelligent core of our being.

From the earliest days of development, we envisioned Sunrise as the CNS of the healthcare organization. Our competitors started with a different approach. They designed a data repository to replace paper. Only as an afterthought did they begin to develop rules to do more than just move data electronically from place to place.

In contrast, we designed (and continue to develop) Sunrise around the core concept of evaluation. It not only monitors thousands of data points, but it interprets and acts on them, too.

Keeping constant watch over every detail

Health informatics research consistently finds we can improve outcomes with electronic systems that intelligently monitor patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Similar to the way the CNS processes sensory information for us around the clock, Sunrise is always on duty for patients.

Science has proven that with focused attention to detail, data can help detect potential problems. For example, bilirubin levels in newborns can help identify babies at risk for serious illness, but only if we are carefully watching for that specific indicator.

Automating repetitious work

Even with electronic records, there is a lot of manual labor in medical care, such as creating notes, orders, and prescriptions. It is time-consuming work for clinicians. It is also repetitious and prone to error as clinicians are often interrupted and overloaded.

To take better care of patients at a lower cost, healthcare organizations look for ways to eliminate manual work. They look for more efficient ways to save time and improve quality.

That’s where Sunrise can help. It can replicate clinician decision-making by applying rules instantaneously and create documentation. This type of automation saves time and improves patient safety. Much like the way our CNS automates every heartbeat and breath we take, Sunrise can automate repetitious (but critical) work.

Sunrise can accomplish all of these processes in “blink speed.” You can’t pull a chart out of a rack as quickly as Sunrise can complete complex algorithms to assist in clinical decision-making.

The advantages of awareness and availability

We can alert off of any data that is inherently in Sunrise. All the patient data is already there, and it doesn’t have to manage a separate alerting database.

With some systems, clinicians have to decide to send information to the EHR process. It would be as inefficient as if you had to send sensory data to someone else’s brain to process. “Is the stove hot? Should I pull my hand away?” Clinical decisions are just as time-sensitive and deserve every efficiency we can provide.

With the central nervous system as our model, Sunrise excels at monitoring information reflecting what  is happening with a patient. All of these intelligent capabilities help clinicians improve patient safety.

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About the author

Rick Mansour, MD, is vice president solutions management for core clinical and departmental solutions at Allscripts. In this role, he combines his medical and software development knowledge for better clinical outcomes. His special interests include clinical decision support programming, Arden Syntax, relational database structure and query language. Prior to joining Allscripts (initially as chief medical information officer for Eclipsys), Dr. Mansour served as chief of hematology and medical oncology at Freidman Clinical Internal Medicine. He also is an associate professor of Medicine and supervises fellows clinic at the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center at LSU Health -Shreveport.

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