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The promise of next generation EHRs

Article

What’s needed is a tool that leverages the latest technology to deliver better usability, flexibility, and value, designed by clinicians who truly understand the healthcare workflow. For patients, an EHR should provide a patient portal that integrates data into a clinical registry, allowing access to all their data in a single location.

EHRs continue to improve

All across the United States, the delivery of care is stressful for both patients and doctors. Patients want better access to their information and to be actively engaged in their own care. Doctors want to spend more time with patients but face intense time pressures.

According to a 2018 survey, 60 percent of doctors report they spend from 13 to 24 minutes on average with each patient. During some of these precious minutes, they are struggling to follow electronic health record (EHR) requirements and processes.

Current EHRs are not work-flow confluent as the patient is asked the same questions multiple times. Physicians struggle with fragmented systems that require separate log-ins, and many of the processes are not clinically useful.

Click fatigue and multitasking can lead to mistakes. It’s estimated that multitasking decreases productivity and accuracy by 40 percent. Additionally:

  • 70 percent of doctors using EHRs attribute the bulk of their administrative burden to the software, according to a 2017 study. However, doctors’ opinions of EHRs improved when their medical institutions made efforts to optimize how the software is used.

  • 92 percent of clinicians say lengthy prior authorization protocols have impeded timely patient access to care and harmed patient clinical outcomes, according to an American Medical Association survey.

  • 89 percent of senior patients (age 55 and older) surveyed said they want to manage their own healthcare-and will require better health technology access to do so.


A more thoughtful EHR can deliver a better experience for both sides. What’s needed is a tool that leverages the latest technology to deliver better usability, flexibility, and value, designed by clinicians who truly understand the healthcare workflow. For patients, an EHR should provide a patient portal that integrates data into a clinical registry, allowing access to all their data in a single location.

Electronic enterprise-wide data is essential to manage the patients doctors care for every day. Unfortunately, current EHRs typically do not deliver the insights or tools doctors need to manage their high-risk patients when they are not in the hospital. Even if the specific EHR does offer such population health management capabilities, it again requires excessive amounts of manual data access and manipulation, leading to wasted time  and higher costs.

With the introduction in 2015 of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), along with APMs, providers are being reimbursed by performance versus fee-for-service. One of the performance measurements is Promoting Interoperability (formerly Advancing Care Information), and new CEHRT qualified EHR systems are ready to meet this new requirement.
Jay Haughton, RN, BBA, is a Clinical Solutions Consultant for DSS Inc.

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