One of the major problems faced by the healthcare department is the interoperability between different systems and lack of integration between various medical devices. This is also one of the hottest debated topics in healthcare. From where we are and seeing the current speed of EHR adoption, it’ll have to be few years before we really start enjoying the benefits of mass EHR adoption.
A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association found that entrenched behavior is a bigger factor than we realize. Doctors aren’t Luddites, but many have learned to “absorb” uncertainty rather than trying to minimize it through technology.
Just like any technology trend — we have the early adopters on board, but it’s not easy to change behavior.
EHR adoption and its effect on you
Thomas Friedman, New York Times’ columnist pointed out towards traditional paper-based health records by saying, “With information about your tests, results, procedures and gaps in care stuffed into manila folders in doctors’ offices and hospitals, and not turned into electronic records, it has proven difficult to improve patient outcomes.” Criticism of electronic record vendors is rife — and it’s easy to miss those stories of hospitals streamlining processes and collecting data to benefit patients. Here are some of my favorite examples:
- Intermountain Healthcare, the Salt Lake City-based nonprofit group of 22 hospitals and 185 clinics, launched the first major system of its kind to measure and report patients’ cumulative medical radiation exposure from tests that deliver the highest amount of radiation. Intermountain will permit patients to access their exposure data via an electronic health record — and will educate them about the risks. Read the full story in The Wall Street Journal.
- Dr. Jen Brull, a family medicine specialist in Plainville, Kan., believed she was alerting relevant patients to have colorectal cancer screening — until she looked at the data in her new electronic health care system. She discovered that only 43 percent of those who should be getting the screening had done so. She improved it to 90 percent by installing alerts in her EHR, which led to the early detection of cancer in three patients. Read the full story in The New York Times.
- Health IT usage more than doubles since 2012 (healthitplus.wordpress.com)
- Docs: EHRs help with remote access to records, flagging potential medical errors (infographic) (medcitynews.com)
- Now majority of doctors are using Electronic Health Records – what does this mean for you? (healthitplus.wordpress.com)