Today, every new cancer center we work with asks, “Can you interface with our other health information systems?” This is a question that we did not often hear 5 years ago, but as electronic health records become more widely used, it is becoming one of the first questions we receive from interested oncology centers. To answer that question, I say, “Yes. The next thing you need to ask me is, what interface will help me the most?” We offer interfaces , at minimal expense, that will have the greatest impact for nurse navigators.
The two types of interfaces that bring over the most crucial data for workflow and treatment summary documents are:
ADT – At the start of an interface project with a client, I begin by asking them, “What is the minimal amount of information you need to be able to contact patients who require navigation?” The answer we receive is usually the demographics, which typically involves an interface with the electronic health record. This is referred to as an ADT interface and it creates new patient records in Oncolgoy OnTrack and updates the demographics in the records when they are altered in the electronic health record.
ORU – The next question I ask is, “What is the second most important information you need to begin working with a patient?” Most often, the answer is diagnostic results from MRIs, CT Scans, Mammograms, etc. This information is necessary because the nurse navigator needs to know which significant cancer screenings are being ordered. An ORU interface pulls the relevant diagnostic results into the patient’s record in Oncology OnTrack.
Although there are other interfaces that we can provide, ADT and ORU interfaces are the most basic and crucial interfaces to utilize. These interfaces ensure that nurse navigators are notified when they have new patients to track and when their diagnostic results are available. They also ensure that nurse navigators do not need to check multiple systems every day or enter information multiple times.
If you use Oncology OnTrack, please let us know in the comments if you have an interface and what type it is. Why do you think it is crucial? Is there a certain type of interface other than ADT and ORU that you think is important?