What Cerner's CEO envisions for EHRs 10 years from now

Healthcare would benefit from more exploration of the vast amounts of EHR data available to clinicians and researchers, Cerner CEO David Feinberg, MD, wrote in a March 7 company blog post.

Dr. Feinberg said EHRs should play a bigger role in how we learn about and address health equity issues, noting that 80 percent of health outcomes stem from social and structural determinants of health — not our DNA.

He said a decade from now he hopes the EHR is viewed as a source of data that clinicians and patients can use to uncover ways in which care can be improved, leading to more proactivity and cost-effectiveness in healthcare.

Through Cerner's Learning Health Network, an effort to foster EHR-based health research, hospitals can access studies that highlight shortcomings in outpatient care, home care resources and community programming, according to the post.

Dr. Feinberg pointed out a study from Orange, Calif.-based Children’s Hospital of Orange County in which researchers used Cerner data to find patients with a history of malnutrition were more likely to contract severe COVID-19. Based on the results of the study, the hospital highlighted the need for consistent nutritional care access when treating certain patient populations. 

"We're headed toward the next generation of healthcare," Dr. Feinberg wrote. "Reduced costs. Accessible health insights. A stronger foundation for doctors, nurses and families to be able to access and act on data to care for themselves. "

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