What a busy, informative and excellent week we’ve all had at HIMSS! There were so many lessons learned throughout the show and confirmation that the possibilities for healthcare IT are just beginning.
While our industry isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, we’re at a critical point with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With many Americans being introduced to the healthcare system for the first time, medical practices are now seeing more patients than ever and the need for an electronic health record (EHR) system that can manage the volume of patients and coordinate multiple aspects of care is essential.
Although many practices have tried at least one EHR, we’re seeing that their first attempt may not be the best fit. With more options now available, offering a variety of features and mobile functionality, many healthcare facilities are on the market for a new EHR solution that can offer resolutions to issues that are unique to their practice. Switching EHR systems is becoming an increasing trend, as medical centers and offices have not found a match the first time out on the dance floor. In the case of eClinicalWorks, as many as 60 percent of new customers are switching from a different EHR system.
There is also an increasing need for various EHR systems to better communicate across software platforms. To address this concern, and to help with some of the most pronounced cross-platform issues, eClinicalWorks has been working closely with several providers, including Epic, to expand interoperability. This type of integration is allowing real-time data transfer between the systems, facilitating coordination of care between providers in various care settings, and ensuring that providers have more complete and accurate patient information at the point of care.
With the ACA in effect, many stakeholders will need to rely on population data as a means of understanding patient populations and geographic regions. The implications of geographic, population focused data are immense. Will this information change the way we exercise? And, how can we elicit a healthier America as a result?
As the use of EHRs continues to grow, population health and patient engagement will continue to see significant advancements. It’s an exciting time, and we’re already looking forward to see the growth and changes at HIMSS15.