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Focus on Positive Developments in EHR

Series: Electronic Health Records

EHR developers are aware of the problems with EHR usability and interoperability that contribute to physician burnout, and they appear to be increasingly focused on clinician-focused optimization. Government agencies have developed programs and initiatives to improve EHR usability and interoperability. Various organizations have contributed to a body of research linking EHR usability and interoperability issues to patient safety. Healthcare organizations are joining forces to prompt the development of interoperable EHR software and devices. These developments suggest there is positive movement toward EHR systems that provide more benefits and fewer burdens to the clinicians who use them.

The articles, websites and videos listed below provide a snapshot of clinician-centric EHR improvements recently achieved, currently in development, or planned for the near future.

Stanford Medicine EHR National Symposium 2018
Stanford Medicine convened leading minds in patient care, technology, design thinking, and public policy to reimagine what electronic health records (EHRs) can do for physicians and their patients. This website includes videos of the presentation, reports and poll results.

Center for Medical Interoperability
The Center for Medical Interoperability is a 501(c)(3) cooperative research and development lab, which aims to simplify and advance data sharing among medical technologies and systems. Their website describes the various ways they are fulfilling the Center for Medical Interoperability mission.

ONC Health IT Innovation Challenges and Prizes
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) sponsors prizes and challenges to stimulate innovation throughout industries, spurring improvements to both processes and technologies. Their website describes various challenges involving EHR interoperability and usability. For example, they are currently sponsoring an Easy EHR Issue Reporting Challenge.

Artificial Intelligence for Health and Healthcare
Artificial intelligence and machine learning may help EHRs anticipate much of the work now performed by hand, so that many tasks could be automated. The National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, asked JASON (an independent group of scientists and academics that has been advising the Federal government on matters of science and technology for over 50 years) to consider how AI might shape the future of public health, community health, and healthcare delivery. This article discusses JASON's response, and focuses on technical capabilities, limitations, and applications for AI in health and healthcare that can be realized within the next ten years.

Speech Recognition for Medical Conversations
Speech recognition software has improved dramatically. This article describes the development of automatic speech recognition models for transcribing clinician-patient conversations.

EHR Data Mining to Improve Healthcare Delivery
There is a tremendous amount of patient health information in EHR systems. This article discusses how data mining algorithms, patient outreach, and follow-up can identify patients with undiagnosed conditions and support disease management.

CMS Patients Over Paperwork Initiative
This website describes the ways in which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is reviewing and streamlining its regulations to limit the burden caused by Medicare documentation requirements and its medical reviews.