Making Sense of EHR systems
As many as 87% of physicians are still dissatisfied with the EHR systems on the market according to various surveys. This is in spite of so many vendors offering a variety of products and solutions.
A “one-size-fits-all” electronic health/medical record system will not be suitable for every setting. A cardiology practice needs something very different than ob/gyn while a general practice needs something very different than a haematology or nephrology practice.
You need a system that provides everything to automate your specific workflow. Two critical elements for a good and effective system are
Speciality specific workflow and
Speciality-specific Content and Templates
Many people get it wrong. They expect Tools and Technologies to do the modelling of internal systems for them, which is completely backwards, and the reason for failure and immense frustration.
Building an ideal medical practice should start with designing a model that focuses on optimizing the smallest functional work unit capable of delivering excellent care; even for a solo doctor, even without any staff. Too far-fetched? Perhaps.
But, when you mix in good technology around this process and workflow, such model practices can emerge.
We just need to make sure we put the horse before the cart.
I believe we have tried to achieve that goal and to a large extent, we have succeeded while we continue to refine and exceed our own high standards.
ONC Study Shows Encouraging Increase in Electronic Prescribing
Electronic prescribing grew significantly from 2008 through 2012, according to a study conducted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and published last month in the American Journal of Managed Care, Clinical Innovation & Technology reports.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from e-prescribing network Surescripts. They found that:
Providers who prescribe through electronic health records increased from 7% in December 2008 to 54% in December 2012;
The number of pharmacies actively e-prescribing rose from 70% in December 2008 to 94% in December 2012; and
Pharmacies using Surescripts to e-prescribe increased by 24% from December 2008 to December 2012 (Pedulli, Clinical Innovation & Technology, 10/2).
In addition, the researchers found that in December 2012:
94% of urban pharmacies were actively accepting e-prescriptions; and
93% of rural pharmacies were actively accepting e-prescriptions (Gabriel et al., American Journal of Managed Care, 9/20).
According to the study authors, prescribing through EHR systems:
Correlates with better patient medication adherence; and
Improves access to patient medication histories and pharmacy benefit information.
However, the study noted that providers face barriers to e-prescribing, including:
Regional extension centres and health information exchanges have helped providers overcome some of those barriers, according to the researchers (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 9/30).