The evolution of the EHR

Andrew S. Kanter, MD, and Steven Rube, MD, reflect on the early days of electronic health record (EHR) technology and what the future of it holds for patients and providers.
Clinician using their electronic health record and experiencing the impact of EHR workflows

Developing new technologies is an iterative process; a relentless mix of brainstormed ideas, creative problem solving, and endless lines of code. The creation of electronic health records is no exception. Since their initial development in the 1960s, EHRs have evolved in myriad ways. No longer just data repositories, EHRs have transformed into multifaceted tools used for everything from organizing individual medical problem lists, to billing, to informing population health initiatives.

In our white paper, The evolution of the electronic health record: Toward better optimization for clinical use, we explore how EHRs have changed over the years, how they’re improving the patient-provider relationship, and the potential that lies in the EHR of the future.

Or, for a preview, check out the excerpt below:

The EHR of tomorrow

In recent studies looking at physician satisfaction, approximately one-third to one-half of clinicians report feeling emotional exhaustion and said that they lack a sense of professional accomplishment. Growing demands for electronic documentation increasingly top the list of reasons why doctors feel this way, and in some cases are considering leaving the field. To address these issues, healthcare organizations and information technology vendors must elevate the patient-provider interaction to be front and center when considering EHR design, implementation, training, and use, according to IMO Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Rube.

“For too long, we’ve tried to add little features here and there to try and help,” he said. “I think we need to take a step back and ask how we can approach documentation from the clinician’s point of view. How can we make the technology as subtle as possible so that providers can conduct a thoughtful, intimate interaction with their patients while still accessing and documenting the information they need to?”

There is incredible potential for the EHR of the future to develop in ways that reduce the administrative responsibilities placed on clinicians — and help them focus on their primary mission: to provide the highest quality care for their patients.

To learn more about how the EHR has changed over the last 30 years and what modifications could improve EHR workflows for clinicians:

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