Today electronic health records are now entrenched in the care experience after a painful adoption cycle. In fact, the last ten years were the decade of EHR adoption, with penetration growing from 17% to nearly 80% over the period, according to the CDC.
Affordable Care Act mandates drove this growth more recently (here in the States, anyway), and created an unintended effect: record systems were implemented with compliance in mind, not with workflow in mind. Now that EHRs are prolific, their workflow and integration shortcomings are coming to the forefront.
What workflow improvements are needed, then? Based on an IDC survey, the top 5 tasks for which physicians use EHR include:
1) Accessing patient information (data output)
2) Documenting care (data input)
3) ePrescribing (data input and output)
4) viewing labs and diagnostic tests results (data output)
5) entering orders (data input)
All five tasks require data input or output from the EHR system, turning physicians into data entry clerks instead of care givers.
The obvious solution is to integrate EHRs with other systems. Trouble is, IT resources for integration are scarce. A recent discussion with an academic medical center IT exec made this clear: “Sixty to eighty percent of resources are spent just keeping the lights on. Then, a big chunk of the remainder is focused on meaningful use right now. Other priorities are left fighting for the scraps.”
With traditional back end integrations on hold, what do do? Florence Healthcare provides a technical approach that gives clinicians control over data access at the instant they need it. Our first solution helps them export data using a browser tool. The tool can grab data from nearly any database, and send it to that practitioner’s chosen integration. Applications include EHR export for clinical trials, medical record export to home care providers for transitional care, or reconciliation of medication lists.
The last ten years were the decade of EHR adoption; we see the next ten years as the decade of EHR integration. At Florence we are building tools to help the clinical manage data at the instant it’s needed. Is medical record data entry and export driving you crazy? Tell us about it in the comments.