HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Friday, March 25, 2011

If only Apple made EMRs

You don't need to be a geek to appreciate the value proposition of or to operate an iPad. In fact the opposite seems to be true, and may explain the incredible success of the device and its ecosystem. Most people don't love their computers and frequently find them difficult to work with. Why should we believe that a different relationship exists between doctors and EMRs? A new Perspective article in the New England Journal, available here, explores this very issue, arguing,

Although EHRs laudably provide immediate access to patient data and electronic messaging functions, clinicians have been frustrated by the difficulty of using them to support care delivery and coordination. Transforming EHRs into effective clinical tools rather than a means of capturing information primarily for documentation and billing purposes will require progress on multiple fronts.

Progress on several fronts is urged; interoperability, support for shared care, integration of clinical decision support systems, usability, and support. Absent such improvements "Today's EHRs do not sufficiently support aspects of care delivery that are vital to improving care and controlling costs." [NPT]

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