Comments on WSJ Post- “EMRs: A Huge, Expensive Burden”

Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) provide the foundation to improve healthcare quality and improve cost performance. And standardized EMRs open the door to telehealth and new analytics to improve clinical decision support systems and save lives. But the transition from paper records, as we learned in the e-commerce revolution, will take time and create disruption. I posted comments on a WSJ post to share my view on the benefits we can expect to see. WSJ post and my edited comments at http://tinyurl.com/ksnav8e

Copy of my complete comments as follows:

We need a standardized, full- featured EMR system- this is powerful building block to improve today’s healthcare system. The U.S. lags Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and the U.K., all of which have EMR adoption rates above 90 percent. No surprise these countries have healthcare systems that lead the U.S. based on all patient outcomes/cost performance metrics. Coupled with the ACA’s new core quality measure reporting (‘eCQM’s), we are taking the right steps. But EMR also enables predictive analytics which I see as the Holy Grail here. What lies ahead- new clinical decision support systems improving outcomes; new tools to minimize adverse drug events; improving patient selection for new drug trials; improving surgical outcomes examining chronic issues; and many more. The Social Progress Index report, created by Harvard Business School’s Professor Michael E. Porter’s team, ranked 132 countries using 50 indicators. In the Health and Wellness category the United States ranks poorly at 70th, behind Mali (69th), and Nepal (68th), but, small consolation, ahead of Kuwait (71st). Keep that in mind the next time you hear a pundit say “…our healthcare system works just fine and we don’t need to change it.” These studies are based on metrics/data analysis, not hype or talking points. There will be some disruption, but a standardized EMR system will benefit both the entire healthcare community and the public.

Paul B. Silverman

 

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