We often hear - "EMRs are plagued by problems and inefficiencies that harm patient care and potentially, security and privacy--some day when they are perfected and work the way physicians work, we will flock to them. Data access can be more convenient, but data entry is terrible."
Kenneth Mandl, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital Informatics Program, and one of two authors of an article published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, agrees.
He points out that we're in an EHR "trap": vendors, he says, have perpetuated a falsehood that EHRs must use specialized IT software, and that the EHR must have all-in-one functionality.
The article points out that only some components of an EHR need to be specific to healthcare, and that others, such as documentation tools and cloud storage, can be generic and often are better than what is being offered.
The industry should rely on a standard database format and standard apps, and use technologies that are common in other industries.
There's no reason we can't integrate different software systems into EHRs. We can use different platforms and software; we do it every day.
Demand that products be allowed to integrate, get data in and out and exposed through different interfaces. Think of ways to integrate with emerging technologies.
And we'll see more technologies that work side by side.