Providence St. Joseph CCO on healthcare's stage in the EHR revolution

EHRs have helped improve several inefficiencies associated with paper documentation; however, there is still much room for advancement in terms of the EHR revolution, according to Providence St. Joseph Health Chief Clinical Officer Amy Compton Phillips, MD.

In a blog post for the Renton, Wash.-based health system's website, Dr. Phillips detailed issues with EHRs, including certain studies' results that clinicians can spend between 30 percent and 50 percent of their time interacting with a computer instead of patients.

"…With the technology available today it shouldn't be so difficult to input and access [medical] information," Dr. Phillips wrote. "It shouldn't be a stressor for caregivers that could inhibit their ability to see more of their existing patients or take on new ones. But it is."

In comparison to the movie industry, Dr. Phillips describes healthcare's current stage in the EHR revolution as the VHS stage. While VHS surpassed previous move industry technology breakthroughs, such as black-and-white silent films, by offering the movie-viewing experience at home. DVDs and DVRs eventually followed up to today's capabilities of streaming movies on a smartphone.

"In terms of the EHR revolution in healthcare, we're probably at the VHS stage of development — better than what came before it, but in need of major improvements to address the clunky features of the platform," Dr. Phillips wrote.

To address usability issues and help enhance its Epic EHR, PSJH is currently using clinical informatics to generate feedback from clinicians to help improve the system, such as improving the code used to run Epic, according to Dr. Phillips.

More articles on EHRs:
Piedmont Columbus Regional now live on Epic EHR
Microsoft HealthVault users can now transfer their health data to Allscripts' patient platform
MU Health Care's 'EMR happy hours' help address documentation, workflow issues

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