Why these researchers want to make clinical documentation more like Wikipedia

A team of three researchers described one approach to reduce clerical burden associated with EHR documentation in a recent ahead-of-print article published in Academic Medicine.

"With adoption of EHRs came the promise of improved efficiency, higher-quality care and lower costs. Unfortunately, some clinicians are now spending twice as much time on documentation as they spend seeing patients, and the documentation paradigm of problem-oriented medical records is contributing to this imbalance," the researchers write. "It is time to consider new innovations."

The researchers propose transforming patient records into a collaborative, Wikipedia-like format that supports multiple authors, is equipped with features to track edits and changes, and allows for "contextual linkages," such as the ability to link a treatment to a specific medical problem. The researchers suggested creating a pilot study to explore whether this type of collaborative approach is more effective than the current model of clinical documentation.

The researchers "believe wiki-based documentation will become increasingly attractive, especially as new legislation and directives from policymakers seek to reduce the crushing documentation burden and as the U.S. healthcare system transitions from an episode-based payment structure to a value-based, outcomes-focused system."

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