AMIA Experts Recommend EHR Improvements, Question IOM Report

November 19, 2014 in News

On Monday, an American Medical Informatics Association workgroup recommended ways to improve electronic health record systems, Health Data Management reports.

Sarah Corley, a member of the AMIA taskforce and chief medical officer of NextGen, said that EHRs currently require time-consuming data entry and have cluttered displays that make it difficult for clinicians to find information. To address the issues, the group recommended that EHR vendors:

  • Improve the interfaces clinicians use to enable data entry in a variety of ways, including handwriting and voice recognition;
  • Improve interfaces to external devices, including more standardization;
  • Reduce the number of regulation documentation by ensuring that quality measures are configured in a way that does not require additional data entry; and
  • Improve care team documentation, meaning that all individuals involved with caring for a patient must be able to input data into EHRs (Kalish, Health Data Management, 11/17).

AMIA Questions IOM Recommendations

Meanwhile, AMIA experts questioned the appropriateness of recommendations in an Institute of Medicine report on 12 social and behavioral domains that should be included in EHRs, Politico‘s “Morning eHealth” reports (Gold, “Morning eHealth,” Politico, 11/18).

The IOM report is the second part of a two-phase study that will serve as a guide for federal officials finalizing criteria for meaningful use Stage 3.

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

The report recommended the inclusion of domains related to:

  • Alcohol use;
  • Depression;
  • Educational attainment;
  • Financial resource strain;
  • Intimate partner violence for women of reproductive age;
  • Median household income;
  • Physical activity;
  • Race/Ethnicity;
  • Residential address;
  • Stress;
  • Social isolation; and
  • Tobacco use (iHealthBeat, 11/13).

One expert questioned whether IOM “put thought into whether patients may or may not be willing to divulge” such information. According to “Morning eHealth,” patients tend to give clinicians false information about such issues because they are afraid of what doctors may think of their answers or how the data will be used (“Morning eHealth,” Politico, 11/17).

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