Celebrating the Value of EHRs During National Health IT Week

National Health IT Week 2017

Today begins National Health IT Week, a nationwide awareness week focused on the value of health IT.  EHRA is honored to be a National Health IT Week Partner, and proud of the contributions that EHRs make every day toward improved patient care in the U.S.

Recently, the advantages of EHRs were in the spotlight in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida. Headlines like “Electronic Health Records Rise Above Harvey’s Floodwaters” and “EHRs at Houston hospitals remain resilient against Hurricane Harvey” lead into stories about how EHRs contribute to effective continuing care in disasters. (more…)

Interoperability is Already Having Positive Effects – Here’s How

By Hans Buitendijk

For healthcare providers and their patients, interoperability holds the promise to substantially improve quality and reduce costs, while enabling coordination of care and engagement of patients with their caregivers.

We know that this work is well underway, and so EHRA members collected real-world examples of where interoperability is already working, and the positive effects that many organizations are achieving today.

We’re pleased to share our report, “Interoperability Success Stories: The Journey Continues,” which demonstrates how interoperability can lead to:

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To Improve Patient Access to Data, Providers and Developers Need Clarity on Regulatory Requirements, Not a Focus on Compliance and Penalties

By the EHR Association Executive Committee

Recently, a blog post appeared on the Health Affairs website* painting a gloomy picture of patient access to their electronic health information and suggesting a new theory on how HIPAA can be used to accelerate expansion of interoperability.HA blog quote

Disappointingly, this timely blog post makes inflammatory and inaccurate assertions about EHR vendors, regulatory requirements, and progress made toward interoperable health records.  It also seemingly advocates for a “gotcha” system of penalizing potential missteps by providers and developers, which is the wrong approach to encouraging information sharing.

EHR developers provide tools to help our customers care for patients and increase these patients’ access to their health information. The assertion that individuals “struggle to get their information out of EHRs in an electronic format” overstates the situation and does not reflect progress made.  Although the extent of exchange is not yet where the healthcare industry collectively would like it to be, interoperability is growing quickly between providers, as well as between providers and patients.

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Interoperability Framework Should Build Upon Existing Technology

This week, EHRA submitted comments to ONC regarding the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures) Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement implementation.

You can read EHRA’s recommendations here.  Our comments focus primarily on: (more…)

Is Using Health IT “Desk Work”?

In a new blog post, Mark Segal, PhD, EHRA Chair Emeritus and Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs at GE Healthcare Digital, questions the frequent dismissal of EHRs and other digital health tools like as distracting “desk work” taking physicians away from the more valuable clinical practice of medicine.

A few excerpts:

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Improving Usability by Understanding EHR Users

 

Mandy at podium

By Mandy Long, Chair of the EHRA Clinician Experience Workgroup, and Vice President of Corporate Operations at Modernizing Medicine

On June 21, 2017, I had the pleasure of co-hosting EHRA’s Shaping Usability of Health IT Summit in Washington, DC. We had an impressive turnout, with over 70 attendees from across the health technology spectrum – from ONC’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Technology Reform Dr. John Fleming and other government officials, to physicians and nurses, to user-centered design experts, to EHR developers.

The engaging conversations highlighted the passion of those in attendance and addressed some of the most challenging issues facing the industry today. Facilitated discussions with influential stakeholders in a cross-functional forum to achieve specific usability-related goals was a novel approach for this type of gathering and good first step to problem-solving.

Across the health IT continuum, we see executives and frontline clinicians experiencing real joys, as well as real frustrations, in using technology in their daily working lives. On an almost daily basis, we all engage to create solutions for the challenges that we face as an industry. You know the buzz words – terms like “physician burnout” and “administrative burden.” As technology leaders, we spend a lot of time speaking to our end-users about what it takes to continually improve and move forward.  Usability is at the forefront of our discussions.

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