The Next Generation of EHRs Will Be Fundamentally Different

Robert Rowley | CIO | March 29, 2017

Next generation EHRs will be fundamentally different. The data will be external, shared and universal. The system will be broken into functional pieces. Chart note creation will be automated, and will use multiple inputs combining graphical, text, and voice over multiple devices. AI will be integrated to deliver clinical decision support.

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have come a long way. Over 80 percent of physicians use them in their offices, and nearly all hospitals have implemented EHRs as well. Spurred by the HITECH portion of the 2009 Recovery act, Meaningful Use has put money on the table for physicians and hospitals to adopt and use EHRs.

It also defined what kinds of features an EHR must have in order to be Certified. Legacy systems took on these new requirements by adding to their offerings (sometimes referred to as “bolt-on solutions”). Some new startups that flourished after HITECH were more agile, not being burdened by a decade or more of legacy technology. But generally, the systems – which saturate the landscape we have now – all have similar features.

What are these features? To begin with, each EHR keeps the data confined within each enterprise (each doctor’s office, or each hospital). Locally installed EHRs do this, of course – but so do web-hosted EHRs. Even if the hosted data is stored in a single instance overseen by the vendor, the data is segmented into “apartments” for each practice. Sharing data between users of the same system is about as difficult as sharing between different institutions using different systems...