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The Meaningful User: Physicians Celebrate EHR Independence

July 2015
The Meaningful User


As we prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, I’m reminded of this story. Last fall, the Chief Medical Officer at a health system in Southern California stood proudly before his team of physicians and proclaimed their impending independence from the hospital’s EHR. The system wasn’t going away. But as of January 1, physicians no longer would interact directly with the EHR; instead, they would be buffered from the hospital’s clinical data repository by a physician-facing “EHR overlay” that would afford doctors a much more intuitive user experience. The physicians were ecstatic; it was their own, IT-oriented “declaration of independence.”

To be clear, “EHR independence” does not mean getting rid of electronic records. Rather, it’s about ridding physicians of the burdens often associated with using an EHR system – most notably, awkward workflows and cumbersome interfaces – so they will actively embrace electronic records to work better, safer and smarter. The sooner (and more widely) that happens, the better it will be for patients, health system administrators and clinicians.

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