ONC Speaks Up for Physicians
The recent 2017 ONC Annual Meeting included acknowledgement by federal officials of something we’ve been saying for a long time: the key to improving healthcare is “reimagining how care is delivered, documented, and reimbursed to reduce provider burden”; and for healthcare IT to have a central, enabling role in this transformation, usability and interoperability must be top strategic priorities.
This is not a news flash. Physicians have been complaining about EHR usability for years, as has been widely documented by research studies and reported in the media. The fact that computers are an impediment to physician productivity is, at best, ironic and, at worst, potentially life-threatening. “The overall opportunity here is to get the level of computer change and improvement we have in our lives in other parts of the economy into healthcare,” ONC chief Don Rucker, MD, told EHR Intelligence.
Coincidentally, around the same time as the ONC meeting, KLAS published its three keys to successful EHR optimization. One that jumped out is “well-optimized EHRs are not one-size-fits-all. Oncologists, for instance, do not work the same way as emergency department doctors do.” We couldn’t agree more, which is why PatientKeeper’s next major version will offer an adaptable physician user experience that reflects a provider’s specialty and each patient’s situation.
Here’s hoping that 2018 is a year of profound healthcare IT innovation. As Dr. Rucker said, “It’s not like ONC is smart enough to figure out what people are going to do, but we can be freeing up the data so that smart people can be creative.”