Penn Medicine wants to transform EHRs: 4 things to know

Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine plans to turn EHRs into clinical tools that expedite care and drive better patient outcomes, the health system said Oct. 10.

Here are four things to know about the initiative:

1. Penn Medicine leaders will request internal input on ideas to address issues commonly associated with EHR use, like burnout and inefficient workflows.

2. David A. Asch, MD, executive director of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, suggested in a New England Journal of Medicine piece that EHRs should be retooled in a way that allows physicians to "subscribe" to their patients' clinical data. By doing so, physicians could receive real-time updates when their patient requires certain services, similar to how social media platforms notify users and update feeds.

3. In addition, Penn Medicine launched an innovation tournament aimed at developing, testing and refining EHR improvements. Teams include health system members spanning IT experts, data scientists and clinical educators. Penn Medicine will also introduce "sprints," which will allow clinical groups to work with different teams to improve EHR interactions with email and other digital media.

4. Of the initiative, Ralph Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia, said: "We're approaching this endeavor as if we were building a new clinical facility, laboratory, or training program: with a focus on the clinicians' and patients' needs. Everything that shapes patient care should be designed to support the best possible outcomes. Electronic health records are a natural focus because they connect to everything we do."

More articles on EHRs and interoperability:
Allscripts to add PDMP access to all EHR systems
eClinicalWorks joins CMS Blue Button 2.0, opens search engine for patient data
Cerner names physician 'all-stars' from MedStar Health, Dignity Health, more

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