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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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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Briefing Congress on the Importance of Interoperability

On June 7, 2016, the EHR Association sponsored a briefing for Congressional staff engaged in crafting proposed legislation that addresses interoperability.  EHRA member company, Allscripts, invited their client Stephen Nuckolls, CEO of Coastal Carolina Health Care (New Bern, North Carolina, U.S.A.), to participate as a panelist, along with four other healthcare provider organization executives. Their blog post shares some of his comments at the briefing, which covered successes and areas for improvement with health information technology.

Data Re-Use – Usability, Patient Safety, and Organizational Policy

With the accelerated adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), there is growing recognition of the benefits associated with the use of these technologies – reduced medical errors, faster access to complete information, more efficient communications among busy clinicians, and increasing patient engagement in their healthcare decisions. At the same time, there is a dialog taking place among all stakeholders on the issues related to busy clinicians taking advantage of data re-use capabilities to avoid re-entering identical information as they create their encounter documentation.

The EHR Association strongly believes that data re-use tools are critically important for clinicians, provide clear benefit for patients and, when used appropriately, enable accurate legal and financial recording workflows for providers.

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