The PALTC Health Information Technology Blog Series

I spend a great deal of my waking life thinking about electronic health records - I even dream about health technology. You're probably thinking I need to get a life - right? But I won’t make any excuses for this. I am convinced that if we are going to improve the health and well-being of our population; health information technology, and specifically electronic records, are a critical component of our strategy. There are two important caveats, however. First, electronic records are necessary but not sufficient to achieve our goals. Second, current iterations of EHRs are woefully inadequate to the task.

Over the next couple of months I, and the team here at Afoundria, intend to expand on this theme. We will ask, and propose answers, to the question “How can electronic health records be improved and expanded in order to more capably contribute to the achievement of “triple-aim” improvements in health care; better care, a better care experience and more cost-effective care?" In what ways are current products up to the task, and where do they fall short? What can be done to revise and refine technology supporting better health care? How can one tell when a proposed solution really meets the needs of patient, providers, and payers?

In anticipation of the upcoming discussions, I would like for you to read, or re-read, my previous post on the "5-C" demands of Charting. A quick reminder; the 5 “C’s” of Charting are Communication, Care, Coding, Compliance, and Clinical Research. This framework will be used to establish a rubric for measuring the adequacy (and understanding the inadequacies) of clinical information tools and applications and help us develop and deploy technology supporting more efficient, more effective, and more satisfying care processes.

We have already explored the Meaningful Use program and its contribution to more effective health information technology and will be diving deeper into this topic and others to discuss how health IT can help your clinical practice.