Care standardization and decision support
- Clinicians face data entry exhaustion due to lack of standardization and an inability to automate data capture that works poorly with clinician workflows.
- Due to the lack of rigor around EHR data entry, clinicians haven't been able to use data to reduce variation in the way care is delivered and therefore achieve better, more predictable outcomes.
- Strategic implementers appear to be further along on digitizing and standardizing clinical documentation. Eighty-four percent told HRI they are using the EHR for clinical documentation, compared with 63 percent of other providers.
- EHRs have been effective for aggregating clinical data to support descriptive analyses of patient populations.
- More mature data models - not available in EHRs - are needed to integrate other data sources in order to stratify patient populations based on risk and then manage them.
- A key component of population health analytics is the ability to tie EHRs from different systems together in order to exchange information.
- Population health also requires that providers understand patients’ lifestyles and the social factors affecting their health – information the EHR is generally not poised to capture.
- Most consumers think EHRs have made it easier for their doctors to communicate with them, but providers think the systems have interfered with face-to-face care.
- Many clinicians have not embraced the significant potential of their EHR’s patient portal, using it largely to help patients schedule appointments or manage bills rather than manage their health.
- Strategic EHR implementers are more likely to already be using their EHRs to enhance patient-provider communication, but they also recognize that the EHR alone may not be enough to meet patient expectations and encourage them to become more engaged in their care. More strategic implementers than other providers are using customer relationship management software to ensure that services such as diabetes management programs or smoking cessation groups reach the patients who would benefit from them the most.
- Other than academic medical centers, many providers have not prioritized EHRs to support practice-based research efforts.
- EHRs often provide analytic tools that are effective for descriptive, retrospective reviews of patient populations.
- EHRs tend to lack the capacity to do more robust analyses, such as predictive modeling which can help providers uncover a patient population’s future needs.
- Providers, including strategic EHR implementers, plan to focus on non-EHR technologies for research and clinical trials recruitment over the next three to five years.