AHRQ: EHRs Should Include Pediatric-Specific Functionalities
May 11, 2015 in News
Electronic health record systems should incorporate pediatric-specific functionalities to ensure quality of care, according to a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Health Data Management reports.
The report was based on research commissioned by AHRQ and conducted by Vanderbilt University’s Evidence-Based Practice Center (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 5/11).
For the report, researchers spoke with clinicians and policymakers and reviewed relevant scientific literature and online resources (Gruessner, EHR Intelligence, 5/8).
To remedy the situation, the report recommended that EHR systems include six core functionalities that could improve pediatric care, including:
- Documentation and billing capabilities that support the use of customized forms, interface with schools and community health organizations and limit documentation overload;
- Family structure tools that enable data sharing among family members and support privacy controls to govern access to such information;
- Medication tools that help personalize prescribing practices;
- Routine health care maintenance tools to facilitate continued growth assessments, customize growth charts and provide recommendations;
- Vaccine forecasting and management tools that reflect regional requirements, support documentation and communicate with registries; and
- Vulnerable population management tools that generate patient lists based on risk factors, identify patients in various subpopulations who are due for preventive services and streamline clinical practice guidelines into standard workflows (Health Data Management, 5/11).
The report noted that functionalities might need to vary in outpatient and inpatient settings (EHR Intelligence, 5/8).
The researchers concluded, “While many of these functionalities are not purely pediatric, their key role in the care of children in contrast to their minimal role for adults could mean they can get overlooked if an EHR is designed primarily for adult care” (Health Data Management, 5/11).