The world of healthcare relies heavily on the next generation of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) or EHR 2.0 due to its defining features helping to meet the growing needs of communities wanting high-quality self-care. Since the pandemic, virtual and digital care have seen a massive spike in demand. Physicians are eager to digitize their clinical practices, and the healthcare industry is prioritizing growth and technology modernization to deliver new digital initiatives and advanced healthcare services.
EHR plays a critical role in modern healthcare by helping manage appointments, no-shows, and marketing campaigns, structuring patient flow and referrals, and solving clinical problems. As per statistics based on a 2021 survey, 78 percent office-based physicians and 96 percent of non-federal acute care hospitals have adopted a certified EHR, thus underlining its growing role in healthcare services. Not surprisingly, even the top healthcare companies are embracing it to enhance their product portfolio.
Cherry Health, one of the Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) serving western Michigan, partnered with NextGen Healthcare for its electronic health record platform to launch new services, view data, and share it with other providers to improve care pathways. The rationale is to help overcome stress and burnout while having the correct data to make decisions. Glenda Williams, chief information officer at Cherry Health, elaborates, “Our strategy has been to talk to our providers to identify what additional technologies we can put in place to help them so that they’re feeling less burned out.\”
However, there are challenges on the road to EHR adoption while transitioning from the document-based storage system to EHR. So, let’s dive in.
Top 8 Barriers to Overcome
The global EHR EMR (Electronic Medical Records) market size, valued at USD 29,395 million in 2021, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% to reach $47,600M by 2030. But several assumptions and things need to be clarified when it comes to adding EHR to your digital tool arsenal. The most pressing issues must be promptly addressed to enhance all facets of patient care and ensure a smooth care experience.
- Implementation Costs – Apart from investing in the EHR system, healthcare providers must factor in other costs, including training and equipment costs. A significant portion of the planned capital budget investment will go to setting up the hardware, software costs, and maintenance fees.
- A Rigid Mindset – Staff members often need to be more open to learning new things. They resist change and believe they need to gain the technological prowess to use the EHR system. There has to be clear communication to inform them about the importance of EHR adoption, not just from the healthcare provider’s perspective but also from their own, to make them understand the benefits of switching from paper to electronic records. EHR is a game-changer regarding customer service in healthcare, and it’s time they see it that way.
- Usability Concerns – There is a strong assumption that EHR adoption will take a humongous amount of time and that the steep learning curve will lead to a dip in business and productivity.
- Self-service implementation can help reduce the time to adoption, provided there is assurance that the new EHR system will fit into the existing workflows without compromising patient health outcomes.
- Data Migration – Data cleansing, validation, and profiling are essential steps in data migration and can be highly tedious, considering that the old data is paper-based. Data correlation is crucial, too, while creating targeted campaigns. For instance, is Body Mass Index (BMI) related to socioeconomic status, and how does it help determine who is at risk regarding obesity, diabetes, and other health concerns?
- Privacy Concerns – Data leakage is a huge cause of worry, and confidentiality of personal health data remains a top priority. A security breach is something healthcare services simply cannot afford as it is detrimental to their reputation and credibility too.
- Lack of Technical Expertise – Small clinical establishments often lack the manpower and technical expertise required to lead EHR implementations. While building an in-house team may not be possible, they may not have factored in the cost of outsourcing it.
- Interoperability – Access to patient data is crucial to enabling proper care, be it for home healthcare services or virtual healthcare. With interoperability, it is possible to get data in a consolidated and structured manner to have a complete understanding of a patient’s health. Lack of interoperability will hinder treatments and impact care coordination and outcomes.
- Lack of planning – This is perhaps the primary reason for the delay in most EHR implementations. EHR implementation is undoubtedly about embracing change and gearing up for technological upgrades. But it can be swift and effective if you are prepared and have onboarded all the stakeholders. What needs to be remembered is the power of EHR and the incredible benefits it can lead to.
The Potential of EHR
You can enable tangible enhancements for your organization with EHR and provide better care to patients.
Here’s a quick lowdown on everything you can achieve with EHR:
- It helps you provide coordinated care since you get instant access to everything you need to know about a patient.
- It ensures secure electronic information sharing among clinicians, patients, healthcare providers, and all stakeholders.
- It helps minimize errors and empowers physicians and caregivers to diagnose patients effectively.
- It helps improve patient and provider communication facilitating greater interactions, comfort, and convenience.
- It enhances patient data security and privacy, enabling healthcare providers to meet their business goals efficiently.
- It reduces paperwork and streamlines coding and billing.
Transformed Healthcare starts with EHR
While the benefits of EHR are far too many to ignore, EHR 2.0 has forged the way to transform healthcare. Here\’s how:
Better healthcare – EHRs impact virtually every aspect of patient care, including customer service in healthcare. With patient safety, effectiveness, and patient-centeredness, EHR 2.0 has opened new doors for the healthcare industry to make a difference in people’s lives.
Preventive Care Measures– With detailed information about all patients, healthcare providers are better equipped to care for them by promoting preventative care and encouraging healthier lifestyles.
Better financial health – Preventative medicine takes center stage as patient information is being integrated from multiple sources to make them aware of their health. Patients are constantly looking for ways to enhance nutrition and physical activity. This, in turn, ensures lower healthcare costs and better financial management since patients end up saving on redundant tests and costly treatments.
Emerging technologies are optimizing EHR 2.0 to introduce a new era of virtual healthcare
Ever since the pandemic, everyone is familiar with home and virtual healthcare services. All premier healthcare services include them in their offerings. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other technologies power automated interactions to increase the speed and accuracy of diagnosis and treatment. Virtual care enables patients to interact virtually with healthcare providers for continuous care from their homes. Here are the top trends to watch out for:
Remote patient monitoring is becoming mainstream with AI-driven care-assistive apps, AI-enabled EHRs, and predictive algorithms at the helm. Together, they continue to enhance the interoperability of data. An app by Microsoft and Nuance combines conversational and ambient AI to complete clinical documentation in just a few seconds to reduce administrative burden and offer clinicians the information they need to extend the proper patient care.
When integrated with medical information, AI-powered chatbots significantly manage everything from symptoms and medications to treatments and appointments.
AR/VR apps are now helping healthcare professionals collaborate for real-time diagnosis and health tracking, training, and planning medical procedures. Boston-based XRHealth recently merged with Amelia Virtual Care to deliver high-quality care and engaging patient experiences bringing immersive AR & VR technology, licensed clinicians, and advanced data analytics on one platform.
IoT (Internet of Things) facilitates on-demand health monitoring through wearables and connected devices to monitor vital health signs, send alerts, and predict outcomes. The Apple Watch Series 4 was already recording heartbeat and rhythm and taking an ECG, while the newest Series 8 emphasizes women’s reproductive health, including ovulation and menstruation tracking capabilities.
IoT ensures compliance with medical advice for medical device manufacturers and providers and also facilitates transparency between insurers and customers across use cases like underwriting, pricing, claims to handle, and risk assessment.
Trigent is committed to helping the entire healthcare fraternity offer patient-centered care. Whether face-to-face clinic visits or virtual care, we have assisted clinicians and premier healthcare services in meeting new challenges and delivering exceptional care with the help of advanced technologies. EHR interoperability is at the core of our “initiatives,” while technologies like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), cloud, and big data allow us to empower our clients to push the boundaries in healthcare.
We help you create a comprehensive implementation plan to leverage the full potential of EHR 2.0 and increase efficiency and profits while reducing costs. You can rely on our technology experts to help you build an agile, robust network to pave new pathways in connected care. Trust Trigent for everything from web & mobile app development to bespoke product development, legacy migrations, and app modernization. Our digital front-ends provide seamless access to the legacy systems for patient data. Zero-trust security ensures the necessary security checks and controls, and our API solutions empower you to be at the top of your game.