Electronic health records (EHRs) are here to stay, but still drive a lot of love-hate discussion. It’s worth remembering the parameters of the debate, like why doctors don’t like EHRs in the first place. Here’s how one doctor puts it:
“None of them allow transmission of data between systems. They all are encumbered by poor graphic user interfaces that make it hard to see patient data in a way that makes sense and helps patient care.”
But, again, EHRs are a fact of life and aren’t going away. So how do we make them better? This article from AMA has some big ideas. No surprise that the list is focused on patient care – that’s a good thing. Here are our favorite other ways to improve EHRs:
“Support team-based care. Current technology often requires physicians to enter data or perform tasks that other team members should be empowered to complete. EHR systems instead should be designed to maximize each person’s productivity in accordance with state licensure laws and allow physicians to delegate tasks as appropriate.
Promote care coordination. Transitioning patient care can be a challenge without full EHR interoperability and robust tracking. EHR systems need to automatically track referrals, consultations, orders and labs so physicians easily can follow the patient’s progression throughout their care.
Promote interoperability and data exchange. Data “lock in” is a common problem. EHR systems should facilitate connected health care across care settings and enable both exporting data and properly incorporating data from other systems. The end result should be a coherent longitudinal patient record that is built from various sources and can be accessed in real time.”