7 Reasons Why Doctors Need Better EHRs
There is no question that electronic health records (EHRs) have transformed the way doctors work. By automating the capture of patient data and making it available at the point of care, EHRs have made it possible for doctors to provide safer, more efficient, and more coordinated care.
However, as anyone who has ever used an EHR knows, they are far from perfect. In fact, many doctors feel that EHRs are actually hindering their ability to provide the best possible care to their patients.
The main problem with EHRs is that they are designed to meet the needs of insurance companies and government regulators, not doctors or patients. As a result, they are often cumbersome and difficult to use, and they frequently require doctors to spend more time on documentation and paperwork than they do on patient care.
What’s more, the way EHRs are typically designed, implemented, and used can actually introduce new risks and errors into the care process. For example, the way EHRs handle medications can lead to dangerous errors, and the way they store and share patient data can violate patients’ privacy.
Given all of these problems, it’s no wonder that many doctors are calling for better EHRs. Here are some specific ways that EHRs need to be improved in order to better meet the needs of doctors and patients:
1. EHRs need to be easier to use.
The current generation of EHRs is far too complicated and time-consuming for busy doctors to use effectively. In order to be truly useful, EHRs need to be designed with the user experience in mind. They need to be intuitive and easy to use, so that doctors can focus on patient care, not on fighting with their EHR.
2. EHRs need to be more flexible.
One size does not fit all when it comes to EHRs. Different specialties have different needs, and different practices have different cultures and workflow patterns. As such, EHRs need to be configurable to meet the needs of different users.
3. EHRs need to support clinical decision-making.
EHRs need to do more than just capture data; they need to support clinical decision-making. They need to provide doctors with the information they need, when they need it, in a format that is easy to understand and use.
4. EHRs need to be interoperable.
In order for EHRs to truly support coordinated care, they need to be interoperable. That means they need to be able to exchange data with other systems, both within and outside of the practice.
5. EHRs need to be secure.
Given the sensitive nature of the data they contain, EHRs need to be highly secure. They need to protect patient data from unauthorized access and use, and they need to be able to withstand attempts to hack into the system.
6. EHRs need to be reliable.
EHRs need to be available when doctors need them. They can’t go down for extended periods of time, or lose data due to system failures.
7. EHRs need to be affordable.
EHRs are expensive to implement and maintain. However, the cost of not having EHRs is even higher. In order to be widely adopted, EHRs need to be affordable for both practices and patients.
The bottom line is that EHRs need to be designed with the needs of doctors and patients in mind. Only then will they be able to truly transform the way healthcare is delivered.