#MedTech2015 Recap: Are Electronic Medical Records Limiting Technology?
We’ve just arrived home from an exciting time at #MedTech2015, where iVEDiX sponsored the Innovation & Technology Track. Panels included: “Emerging Trends in 21st Century Healthcare”, “The Hackability of our Digital Health”, and “How to Play Nice with Others,” a panel on partnerships. Of the three sessions, Big Data, Personalized Medicine, and Telehealth were the prevailing themes. And while these emerging technologies seem to be the focal point in healthcare today, MedTech panelists still claim there is a sentiment of high risk, confusion, and frustration being caused by electronic medical records (EMRs).
New Pain Points
Migrating to electronic medical records has had a tremendous impact on many healthcare providers. It disrupts processes, policies, and workflows for everyone within the organization; which ultimately effect costs and patient care.
The major cause of this disruption is lack of interoperability. Whether it is between systems, providers, or technologies, it seems that the industry is struggling to gain access to a single source of meaningful data.
In addition to having a changing internal landscape, patients are also demanding more access to their personal health information (PHI). In an effort to address this demand, some providers have given patients limited access to medical records like lab results, physician messaging, and scheduling.
While these all may sound like a good idea, they have actually put quality of care at risk. One case that was sited during the Emerging Trends panel, was that patients are often gaining access to lab results before physicians and researching related conditions before their physician has had a chance to review it in context. These situations can often make managing a diagnosis difficult for physicians, and can lead to some very difficult patient/physician relationships.
For facilities that are willing to adopt emerging technologies, despite these other challenges, there is still the issue of data quality. So, how are healthcare organizations expected to make this technological leap? The answer is, through collaboration.
The industry is becoming increasingly open to change and private companies are racing to meet the challenges of integrating EMRs. Innovators entering Healthcare are facing the these challenges of technology head-on, and providers who adopt these technologies stand to gain: competitive advantage, better reimbursement strategies, and growth opportunities. Here are some closing thoughts from the Emerging Trends panel:
Brian Mcllory, of GE Idea Works, says, “We’re all driving to enable cost, quality, and access.” These are the types of technologies Healthcare providers should be seeking.
Dr. Robert Corona recommends, “Pay attention to people who are innovating around unique use cases, and don’t underestimate the power of technology that young people are using”
Jay Goodwyn, Executive Director at the IBM Buffalo Innovation Center said, “Progress with healthcare data has been difficult, but it’s not hopeless.”
Please share your thoughts about the challenges of migrating to EMRs in the comments below.