Sugar. Butter. Flour.
Recipes can be deceptive. The basic ingredients may be simple – for example, a pie is fundamentally sugar, butter and flour (thank you, Sara Bareilles / Waitress) – but that’s just the start; there’s much more to it.
In healthcare IT, one could argue the recipe for success also has a few basic ingredients – patient data, connectivity, user interface – but how you combine them (and what you add) goes a long way to determining the final product. Ask any physician and you’ll quickly hear that, from their perspective, EHRs are not yet fully baked. So when ONC and CMS convened a “listening session” late last month to gather input from physicians and other healthcare stakeholders about reducing the clinician burden associated with health IT, they got an earful. Problems frequently mentioned by commenters included poor EHR workflow, system usability, and over-documentation (aka “note bloat”) driven by billing requirements.
Credit to federal officials for soliciting physicians’ input and creating the forum for it, and also for articulating a goal that we at PatientKeeper have long espoused and are actively working toward. As ONC’s chief clinical officer, Dr. Andy Gettinger, put it: “I don’t believe our work will be done until EHRs and other health IT tools are things that clinicians who are taking care of patients can’t imagine taking care of patients without, because they need them.”
Now that sounds like the beginnings of a recipe for improving 21st century clinical care.