HIMSS18: Listening, Learning, Leading

IMG_6591EHRA member companies were out in force at HIMSS18 in Las Vegas, and not just in booths on the exhibit floor.

In a small conference room on the 4th floor of the Sands Convention Center, EHRA volunteer executives were meeting with stakeholder groups to discuss how EHRs can be optimized to improve usability, interoperability, and patient safety. We listened, we asked questions, and we shared our perspectives on the challenges and what the next steps could be.

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How Consistency in EHR Design Can Contribute to Patient Safety

By Emily Richmond and Tammy Coutts, Chair and Vice Chair, EHRA Clinician Experience Workgroup

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Anyone who switches frequently between a Mac and a PC knows the pain of inconsistency. The OK and Cancel buttons are in different places, the menus are in different locations, and there are even differences in the way you close a screen or program. These inconsistencies, while seemingly trivial, can contribute to a user’s “cognitive load,” which is the thing that makes you feel fuzzy and slow when you’re navigating a screen that doesn’t fit your mental model.

As system designers, electronic health record (EHR) developers operate in the same way as the designers of other systems–they work closely with users to understand their needs and the context of their use, and they strive to create designs that are straightforward, simple to understand, and a joy to use. However, despite this shared dedication to delivering a high quality product, EHR products from different companies don’t always present solutions to those problems in the same way. The result could be that systems that were designed in isolation to reduce cognitive load might end up contributing to it when a user must use multiple platforms to complete their daily tasks.

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Improving EHR Usability by Reducing Regulatory Burdens

it is our experience that clinicians_ frustrations with EHRs are often less about the technology, and more about using it not simply for patient care but to fulfill regulation-driven dIn a speech last month, CMS Administrator Seema Verma expressed her desire for CMS “to focus on patients first.” To do this, she said, “one of our top priorities is to ease regulatory burden that is destroying the doctor-patient relationship. We want doctors to be able to deliver the best quality care to their patients.”

We applaud Administrator Verma for leading this effort to reduce regulatory burdens on healthcare providers. As regulatory requirements for data collection from clinicians directly through the EHR have increased, it has become increasingly more challenging to maintain focus on the data essential to direct patient care. (more…)

Working Together to Address Patient Safety

By Shari Medina, MD, and Janet Campbell

 

ftr1017_coverEHRA was recently invited by For The Record magazine to write a column focused on EHRs and patient safety.  Our collaboration, “Patient Safety is a Shared Responsibility,” has been published in the October issue, and we wanted to share a few excerpts here on the EHRA blog.

Obviously patient safety is at the core of what all of us in healthcare do—providers, payers, IT professionals, and software developers. While EHRs contribute to patient safety, patient safety is a shared responsibility, with each stakeholder playing a key role.

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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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