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The Road Ahead for HIT: Transitioning From "Meaningful Use" to Useful Meaning

May 2016
For the Record

[This article was authored by PatientKeeper CEO Paul Brient.]

The health care industry, at long last, has paved the cow paths. Just as legend says there are now roads in downtown Boston that follow trails originally blazed by wandering cattle, so too there are now computers in hospitals doing what physicians, until relatively recently, did on paper. The problem is the work, for the most part, is being done the same way it was done on paper. As a result, health care is failing to use computers to their full potential.

Today's EHR systems are not optimal, but they are a necessary first step toward the ultimate goal of applying computers to measurably improve patient care and outcomes. That is why, regardless of how the federal government's meaningful use program eventually is phased out, EHRs are here to stay, and why they (or their successors) ultimately will be a force for good in health care.

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