In response to Jean DerGurahian's HIT efforts not enough for reaching IOM goals: report":
The article voicing concern about current health information technology systems not being adequate to reach the Institute of Medicine's goals cites the fact that many current software system designs focus on defensive medicine, meeting payment or performance incentives, or consider laboratory results the primary benefit of electronic systems.
In addition, these system designs have failed to recognize that the highest priorities for physicians' medical records are to accurately record the clinician's clinical findings and thought processes on the one hand, and to assist in promoting the medical diagnostic process on the other hand.
My own observations critiquing these inadequacies in current electronic health-record designs reinforce these concerns, including the following recommendations for enhanced designs required to meet these needs:
- EHR systems must be operable as well as interoperable.
- The data-entry features of EHRs must help physicians efficiently provide and document a high-quality and compliant history and physical examination.
- The EHR is a sophisticated tool that's design and functionality must be directed to helping physicians provide the best patient care possible. The EHR must supplement physicians' knowledge and judgment, not supplant them through automatic insertion of programmed clinical information and/or automated decisions regarding patient care.
Stephen Levinson, M.D.ASAEaston, Conn. To submit a letter to the Modern Physician Reader Blog, click here. Please include your name, title, company and hometown. Modern Physician reserves the right to edit all submissions.