The EHR: Your engine to accelerate digital health

The EHR Your engine to accelerate digital health

State of the EHR and digitalization: great progress, huge potential

The electronic health record (EHR) is mission-critical technology for healthcare organizations and the center of clinical and operational strategy. In an industry essentially based on knowledge, workflows, interactions and financial implementations, the EHR is fundamental to delivering high-quality, cost-efficient health care and seamless patient experiences. Organizational success relies on the effective integration with clinical and administrative workflows.

The demand for significant care transformation through technology has put a greater focus on EHR optimization and digital health solutions. In response, we’ve seen the EHR market and health innovation evolve in major waves in the past 10 to 15 years. Supported by growing evidence of benefits and potential, national policies and incentive programs are a significant driver of investments in digital health.

The EHR is more than a data repository and transaction system. Technology and integrations are key, but workflows are even more important to care delivery and business goals. Managing the sequence of events — and using the right information at each step of the workflow — is critically important. All of it working together can help organizations: • Adopt clinical best practices to improve patient outcomes

  • Drive operational efficiencies
  • Improve patient experience
  • Eliminate mistakes and/or redundant procedures
  • Be more intentional in how we design and optimize future tools
  • Monitor ongoing activities and performance

Big picture: The EHR is only the beginning

The EHR plays a pivotal role in the digital healthcare landscape and is the foundation on which clinical and operational workflows are built. There is no limit to how sophisticated these specialized solutions can become.

But reaching that level of sophistication requires additional investment and optimization. There is growing interest across the industry in solutions that drive EHR consolidation, integration, patient engagement and optimization.

Health systems should evaluate the current state of existing systems to determine where they should repurpose, divest or invest to increase interoperability, unlock interaction data, and modernize the consumer and staff experience. At the same time, health systems must still manage day-to-day operational challenges, clinical outcomes and ever-changing healthcare requirements.

Key functions of a typical EHR

The EHR’s centralized system documents and tracks health-related patient information through the continuum of care.

For most organizations, their initial investments in EHR systems were for basic data functionality, meeting regulatory requirements and to improve documentation. But there is unmet potential in these systems that healthcare leaders are now focused on maximizing. These intelligent systems drive the sequence of events occurring in care delivery including promoting best practices, standardizing workflows to enhance efficiencies, improving patient experiences and tracking quality metrics. The EHR is an operating system that also tracks trends and guides clinical decision support with integration of artificial intelligence (AI). They enable consistent, streamlined interactions between provider teams which help drive better communication between providers and patients to improve care delivery and outcomes. They also set the foundation and course for an organization’s digital future.

Organizations looking to enhance their core EHR system should partner with vendors who can offer flexibility to meet changing needs and advise on the best technology to enable capabilities to improve operational efficiencies, patient experiences and outcomes.