Ask the Nursing Expert about ... Electronic medical records

Angel McGarrity-Davis, RN, CDONA, NHA
Angel McGarrity-Davis, RN, CDONA, NHA

I'm the assistant director of nursing and my corporate office told me that we were going to electronic medical records soon and I was going to be in charge of the rollout.  They also told me about new legislation that came out that I need to be aware of. Do you know about this?

On September 18, 2014, Congress passed the “Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014” (the IMPACT Act). This measure requires the submission of standardized data by long-term care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies and inpatient rehabilitation facilities.

The IMPACT Act will require, among other things, the reporting of a standardized assessment and for the data to be interoperable to allow for an exchange to occur among the post-acute care providers and other providers needed to enable coordinated care with improved Medicare beneficiary outcomes. 

The IMPACT Act provides an opportunity to address our nation's “Triple Aim” goals. This is better care, at an affordable cost focusing on patient-centered and improved quality of care. 

There will be different quality measures that each entity will need to report into the “assessment.” We will be reporting on the resident's skin, cognition, changes in ADL function, their medications, events/incidents, and resident-centered goals. Transitioning between the care continuum hopefully will not be as fragmented when all of us are electronically seeing the “patient.”  

The goal of all of this is for us to work together on communication, focusing on prevention and education as a multidisciplinary team that includes all of the healthcare providers in the continuum of care. The patient and his/her family also should be involved.