A health system’s pilot experience with using social knowledge networking (SKN) technology to enable meaningful use of EHR medication reconciliation technology
Similar to issues faced in health systems across USA, AU Health, based in Augusta, Georgia, faced a scenario of low physician engagement in, and limited-use of its electronic health record (EHR) medication reconciliation (MedRec) technology, which translated to high rates of medication discrepancies and low accuracy of the patient’s active medication list, during transitions of care. In fall 2016, a two-year grant was secured from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), to pilot a Social Knowledge Networking (SKN) system pertaining to “EHR-MedRec”, to enable AU Health to progress from “limited use” of EHR MedRec technology, to “meaningful use”. The rationale behind an SKN system, is that it could provide a platform for inter-professional knowledge exchange on practice issues related to EHR MedRec, across diverse provider subgroups and care settings, to highlight adverse consequences of gaps in practice for patient safety, and emphasize the value of adhering to best-practices in EHR MedRec. This, in turn, is expected to increase provider engagement in addressing issues related to EHR MedRec, and promote inter-professional learning of best-practices, to create a foundation for practice change or improvement (e.g., meaningful use of EHR MedRec technology). This Case Report describes AU Health’s experiences with this novel initiative to pilot an SKN system for enabling Meaningful Use of EHR MedRec technology. It also discusses lessons learned in regard to the potential of an SKN system to enable inter-professional learning and practice improvement in the context of EHR MedRec, which, in turn, helps identify strategies and practice implications for healthcare managers.