Electronic Health Records: getting beyond the phrase
I am going to leave the CPOE topic this week. But, it was a good week to point out that our industry is pursuing CPOE without the proper planning or evidence that it will improve patient safety. So, I will move to the other phrase maxing out the “hype meter.”
I have a new rule. I am forbidding anyone to discuss “Electronic Health Records” unless they can describe three clear expected benefits of an EHR system and how the EHR will accomplish that. Furthermore, “Going paperless” does not count as a benefit.
Luckily, we are pretty much past that phase at Affinity. Certainly at the executive level. I still have some others ask me when I am getting an Electronic Health Record. My standard response is: “You are not allowed to use that phrase.”
I see some CIOs pursuing Electronic Health Records without any vision regarding what they want to accomplish. This is usually in the form of a CIO sending an email to a CIO list-serve asking if anyone has a EHR RFP. There is so much wrong with that request I don’t know where to begin. It is like asking if anyone has a good recipe. Well, I have great recipe for a Green Bay Packer tailgate, but if your medical staff is expecting a 5-course meal you are both heading for disappointment.
I truly believe folks need to develop their own functional requirements. At least the core requirements. But, that should only take place once they have developed a common vision with the leadership and medical staff. Once you know what you are trying to accomplish, then you can decide what features/functions you will need.
We have put together an Electronic Health Record manifesto. I love it, but I love my own cooking. I will post it later in the week to continue the EHR theme.
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