New Decade, Old Problems
The ball dropped. The fireworks flew. The calendar changed.
But in the land of healthcare IT, all remained as it had been, and physicians greeted the new decade with a resounding “meh”.
Ten years after the HITECH Act begat Meaningful Use, EHRs are still a huge hassle for providers. Most physicians regard them as a time sink, and an inhibitor to efficient clinical workflow.
EHRs are in desperate need of targeted optimization to support the way clinicians actually (and want to) work. One approach is to pair the “system of record” (the existing EHR) with a complementary “system of engagement” (the electronic environment that clinicians interact with to do their work).
Here are several innovations that would go a long way toward improving physicians’ user experience with hospital EHRs:
- A customized patient information dashboard, specific to the physician’s specialty and the patient’s situation
- A library of function-specific FHIR-based apps, conveniently available to the clinician as and where needed, embedded within their workflow
- HIPAA-compliant secure messaging with patient context, integrated into clinicians’ familiar electronic work environment
In 2020, EHRs should no longer be a contributor to physician burnout, yet at many hospitals they still are. We know what to do to make them better. Now hospital leaders need to demonstrate the will and devote the resources to do it. Providers, and the patients they serve, deserve no less.