Becker’s Publishes Future of EMR Article

Electronic medical records always have been an important repository of patient treatment information.

Although the vast majority of core EMRs were designed around a basis of episodic care, they continue to grow in importance, not only because of the data they include but because today’s healthcare consumers expect and will ultimately demand more from the health and wellness experience.

Many patients believe their health insurer doesn’t know or understand them as an individual. Recent research found 61 percent of healthcare consumers “believe that their health plan gives similar incentives and recommendations to the entire population.” The report also found 73 percent of healthcare consumers said their insurance plan doesn’t understand their health. Only recently have major payers redesigned the care and consumer engagement strategy around the “individual,” not just the masses.

The challenge in meeting these expectations is that many EMR systems are not configured to “talk” with legacy or new IT systems like revenue cycle management and patient analytics. Additionally, EMRs from hundreds of different vendors can’t exchange even basic information readily. Yes, “Meaningful Use Standards” have been set to change this, but we are still at a very early stage. In addition, there is still a significant division between data sharing among the major EMRs. Not to downplay the cost issue, but in the end “who pays in the data sharing game” remains as another major hurdle on the journey to interoperability.

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