Every physician likely has his or her own thoughts about how to improve electronic health records (EHRs). Physicians and other experts offered these ideas, from practical improvements for solving today’s problems to visionary suggestions that could dramatically change how they practice.
Make the systems work together
“I hear almost every day some issue around interoperability from doctors—not having access to data, or if they get it, they get a 20-page document that the system doesn’t understand,” says Steven E. Waldren, MD, a health IT expert and director of the American Academy of Family Physicians' Alliance for eHealth Innovation.
Make it easier and more intuitive
“Information is too difficult to find and the software is not intuitive,” says Derek Kosiorek, CPEHR, CPHIT, principal consultant at the Medical Group Management Association Healthcare Consulting Group. This goes to the point of a recent American Medical Association study that finds doctors spend too much time interacting with computers and not enough with their patients. For example, Marc D. Price, DO, a primary care physician in New York, says he must call customer support to produce certain regulatory-required reports and often needs to enter the same data multiple times. “I do duplicity work throughout the day that I shouldn’t have to do,” he says.
Add better analytics
As the healthcare industry transitions to value-based care, physicians need to analyze their patient records to identify which patients aren’t doing as well as they should. Waldren says EHRs must add more robust analytic capabilities so physicians can do risk-stratified care management and drill down into dashboards to see how populations are doing.