Electronic Health Records Need to Offer 'Big Picture', Doctors Say

Suggestions offered on how to make EHRs more functional in practice, and reduce regulatory burden
Suggestions offered on how to make EHRs more functional in practice, and reduce regulatory burden

HealthDay News — Physicians recently met in Seattle to discuss the difficulties and benefits associated with electronic health records (EHRs) in a third town hall meeting on the subject, according to a report published by the American Medical Association.

The session focused on what is wrong with current EHRs and how they could be redesigned. Physicians emphasized the need for EHR design to be focused on usability and interoperability. They highlighted the administrative burdens that currently hamper medical practice and create unnecessary and costly inefficiencies in health care delivery.

Many physicians offered solutions and suggestions for how EHRs should work. They focused on interoperability, with many current EHRs unable to communicate. The need for more data usage was also discussed. Other suggestions included having national patient data coordination available to all practices and adoption of spell check and search option drop-down menus similar to Internet search engines.

"Earlier this month, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said the agency is changing its culture to focus more on listening to physician needs and will implement better policy in place of the meaningful use program when the new streamlined Medicare reporting program is created," according to the report. "With this statement, there's never been a better time to speak up and offer constructive solutions to regulatory missteps that have stolen time from physicians that they would rather have spent with patients."

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