According to The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), there are 12 ways “electronic health records (EHRs) and the ability to exchange information electronically…help providers better manage care for patients and provide better healthcare.” The admirable yet aspirational list includes:
- Providing accurate, up-to-date and complete information about patients at the point of care
- Enabling quick access to patient records for more coordinated, efficient care
- Securely sharing electronic information with patients and other clinicians
- Helping providers more effectively diagnose patients, reduce medical errors and provide safer care
- Improving patient and provider interaction and communication, as well as healthcare convenience
- Enabling safer, more reliable prescribing
- Helping promote legible, complete documentation and accurate, streamlined coding and billing
- Enhancing privacy and security of patient data
- Helping providers improve productivity and work-life balance
- Enabling providers to improve efficiency and meet their business goals
- Reducing costs through decreased paperwork, improved safety, reduced duplication of testing and improved health.
Having spent more than a decade as a hospital and health system CIO, I posit that today’s EHR alone does not fully satisfy any of the functions on this list. I wish they did.
Take #1, providing accurate, up-to-date, and complete information about patients at the point of care. We know the typical EHR lacks critical patient information and as such, only accounts for 10 percent of a patient’s health outcomes potential.
External data factors such as chronic disease indicators, economic stability, housing, transportation and education – otherwise known collectively as social determinants of health (SDOH) – are excluded from today’s EHR yet make up 70 percent of the potential patient’s outcomes. As we shift more and more towards value-based care models and population health, health systems increasingly need this kind of external data to effectively identify, stratify and treat patients.
The EHR coupled with an analytics platform enables healthcare organizations to much more easily perform the critical functions for value-based care, including:
- Patient attribution
- Patient stratification
- Patient care and treatment
- Patient engagement and monitoring
That’s why hospitals and health systems are increasingly choosing to layer on an analytics and insights solution like Geneia’s Theon® platform that enables them to accelerate their EHR investment and their path to value-based care success.