Whitney Palmer

Healthcare. Politics. Family.

Where EHRs Fall Short

Published on the Dec. 23, 2015, DiagnosticImaging.com website

By Whitney L.J. Howell

When electronic health records (EHRs) were first introduced, they were touted as being the answer to managing all patient data. An easy way to keep all medical data in one central location, accessible by all medical providers, and beneficial to patient care overall.

That was the initial intent, said Rena Zimmerman, MD, a radiation oncologist at Olympic Medical Center in Sequim, WA.

“Electronic health records should be intuitive to use, improve efficiency, reduce administrative responsibilities, not interfere with patient relationships, and be interoperable,” Zimmerman said. “They must be fully supported by your IT department, be completely secure, and improve patient outcomes and the health of the nation.”

But, that’s not what’s happened, she said at this year’s RSNA. Instead, EHRs are rife with challenges that make full, effective implementation difficult.

Medication Reconciliation: Under Meaningful Use guidelines, you’re required to review medication lists with 50% of your patients, including all prescription medications, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter medicines. Based on existing data, though, more than 60% of medical records contain errors of omission, addition, or both, even though providers have had several years to figure out how to manage medication records correctly.

“At this point, the learning curve isn’t the problem,” she said. “Most physicians feel the system is so cumbersome that they’ve sort of given up. There’s a belief that they don’t believe the medication record anyway, so they just put something, knowing that it’s probably not right.”

To read the remainder of the story at its original location: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/news/where-ehrs-fall-short

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December 24, 2015 - Posted by | Healthcare | , , , , ,

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