HHS drafts strategy to reduce EHR 'burden' on clinicians: 4 things to know

HHS released a draft of a new strategy Nov. 28 designed to reduce administrative and regulatory burdens placed on clinicians by inefficient health IT processes.

Here are four things to know about the draft strategy:

1. The ONC partnered with CMS to create the draft strategy, as required under the 21st Century Cures Act. "Information technology has automated processes in every industry except healthcare, where the introduction of EHRs resulted in additional burden on clinicians," said ONC head Don Rucker, MD.

2. To develop the draft strategy, ONC and CMS hosted listening sessions and solicited written feedback from clinical stakeholders, including clinicians, about regulatory and administrative burden associated with health IT. Much of the feedback focused on EHRs, with clinicians voicing concerns that documentation requirements have led them to spend significant time entering data into these systems.

3. The draft strategy outlines recommendations that focus on three overarching goals to alleviate clinician burden:

  • Reduce the effort and time required to record health information in EHRs for clinicians
  • Reduce the effort and time required to meet regulatory reporting requirements for clinicians, hospitals and healthcare organizations
  • Improve the functionality and ease of use of EHRs

"With the significant growth in EHRs comes frustration caused, in many cases, by regulatory and administrative requirements stacked on top of one another," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "Usable, interoperable health IT was one of the first elements of the vision I laid out earlier this year for transforming our health system into one that pays for value."

4. HHS has opened public comment on the draft strategy through Jan. 28, 2019. The agency plans to publish the final version in late 2019.

To download or submit a comment on the draft strategy, click here.

More articles on EHRs and interoperability:
How to join Apple's health records project
Carequality, CommonWell data exchange link now available nationwide
Patients discharged earlier from hospitals with 'meaningful use' of EHRs, study finds

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