Prominent CIO predicts EHRs are headed in a more patient-centric direction

Healthcare is all about the patients. Electronic health records (EHRs) are designed to maintain those patients’ medical data in a seamless, secure environment. EHRs are also intended to provide a platform through which providers can communicate with each other and with their patients about their patients’ care. In a recent blog post, John D. Halamka, MD, MS, Chief Information Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, describes what he envisions as a “transition from EHR 1.0 to EHR 2.0” as EHRs move toward being more patient-centric.

Dr. Halamka, who is also Chairman of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network (NEHEN), Co-Chair of the HIT Standards Committee, a full Professor at Harvard Medical School, and a practicing Emergency Physician predicts that certain trends will impact the future of EHRs:

  • Fewer government mandates. EHRs will be able to focus more on results rather than simply recording activity.
  • Team-based care. Independent physicians will rely on staff and other physicians to assist with inputting data and prioritize patient messaging.
  • Value-based purchasing. The use of the EHR is moving away from fee-for-service payments and toward patient satisfaction. The next generation of EHRs “should include the functionality necessary to document care plans, variation from those plans, and outcomes reported from patient-generated healthcare data.”
  • Usability. Patients as well as physicians should have access to improved EHR usability, to more properly and actively manage their care.
  • Consumer driven. The patient needs to be included as an active participant in the care management process. Patient portals within the EHR should enable the patient to schedule appointments electronically, interact with physicians, and become “an equal member of the care team, providing them with care navigation tools.”

EHRs are headed in a more patient-centric direction, in a move toward supporting “teams of caregivers focused on value while treating patients as customers.”

Tyler Comstock
July 7, 2017


Can electronic health records predict a patient’s future health?

Researchers at the University of Chicago are examining whether electronic health records (EHRs) can be used to make healthcare predictions. The researchers at UC Medicine believe that, by extracting information from a patient’s electronic health records, they can “create predictive models that could help prevent unplanned hospital readmissions, avoid costly complications and save lives.”

The research project is a collaborative effort of UChicago Medicine, Stanford, and the University of California, San Francisco, with Google’s machine-learning research team. An important aspect of this research is the ability to extract information from health records that are electronically maintained. When a patient’s data is stored and managed using a tool such as Elation’s Clinical First EHR, the data is accessible not only for patient care, but also to be used to improve a patient’s future health.

A Clinical First EHR enables the independent primary care physician to holistically evaluate patient population with a longitudinal record that trends vitals and lab values over time. Understanding a patient’s current situation and gathering information that helps in predicting future trends can make a significant difference in the patient’s care management plan. Communicating this information to the patient and to specialty providers caring for the patient is also a vital piece in the overall collaborative care picture.

The UC Medicine study is critical to the future of healthcare in general, given the startling statistics described in a recent Science Life article on the research project. Specifically, each year in the United States:

  • Unplanned hospital readmissions cost as much as $17 billion
  • The CDC estimates that health care-associated infections lead to 99,000 deaths
  • Problems with medications cause more than 770,000 injuries and deaths

Globally, 43 million people a year worldwide are affected by medical error.

Elation’s philosophy has always been focused on our mission of enabling phenomenal care for everyone. Our Clinical First EHR can help manage patient care more effectively now and contribute to healthcare predictions that will save lives.

Gabby Marquez
June 21, 2017


Elements of an ideal EHR

An electronic health record (EHR) system that is poorly designed may actually require more of an independent physician’s time and focus than was intended by the advance in technology. What do independent physicians really want to see in their EHR system, to ensure it contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of their practice? What are some of the elements of a perfect EHR for physicians?

The American Medical Association (AMA) conducted a study of physicians using EHR in 2016 and came up with a list of features that they believe should be part of an effective EHR system, based on the feedback of those providers. The EHR system should:

  1. Enhance physicians’ ability to provide high-quality patient care
  2. Support team-based care
  3. Promote care coordination

Elations’ clinical EHR for independent physicians addresses all of these concerns. In fact, our focus has always been on developing the right tools that will enable independent physicians to provide the highest quality patient care, without being bogged down in administrative paperwork.

At Elation, we are also focused on care coordination and have developed the Collaborative Health Record with the goal of enabling the independent physician to automatically collaborate with a patient’s other providers.

Additionally, the AMA recommends that EHR systems should “expedite user input into product design and post-implementation feedback.” At Elation, one of the key features of our clinical EHR for independent physicians is that we encourage users to provide their input so we can make improvement based on their feedback.

Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, an associate professor of anesthesiology, surgery, biomedical informatics and health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and a member of the AMA board, stated that physicians “want tools that help us provide high-quality care and make the process of care easier and more efficient.” That’s exactly what we want at Elation as well. We designed our clinical EHR for independent physicians to enable physicians to focus more fully on their patient outcomes, through the coordination of the highest quality care.

Want to learn more about why Elation is truly the ideal EHR for independent physicians?

Parker Nieves
June 15, 2017