Role of EHRs in the Pandemic Situation

The pandemic has created the need for a value-based care model and transformation of the EHR systems that focus on a patient’s plan for health, rather than the sole emphasis on a patient’s medical record. In the present scenario, it has been observed that although electronic health records enable sorting through enormous patient information, the EHR systems are not capable enough to identify data significant to the situation and how to analyze the data. The adoption of EHR technology in hospitals is growing to be a clinical burden rather than an opportunity to ease clinical functions because of its complex interface and usability issues. Moreover, issues with EHR solutions can be much deeper than these usability and interface issues.

What is required at these times is mending the systems of electronic health records in totality going beyond interface issues and improving interoperability. The rebuild, process should capably address other issues that have been exposed by the pandemic crisis. The repair process of the electronic health records must allow focus on proactive management of health instead of enabling mere reactive sick care. As of now, the EHR systems are allowing us to maintain electronic health records that effectively keep track of the experiences of the patients regarding their health, i.e. they are tracking what already happened to the patients. But, to cope with pandemic crises and be ready for such tough situations ahead, we must incorporate the health aspect by introducing features in electronic health records that can help providers plan what they wish to happen in terms of health. Designing the EHR solutions should happen after considering such aspects which help in planning and tracking these ideas.

When electronic health records are developed as plan-centric, they would have a range of healthcare plans that can address a variety of patient health issues. For example, plans should differ for people who have large families and people who live all alone. Similarly, plans should be designed in such a way that an individual with more than one health issue is provided healthcare accordingly by bringing all relevant specialists under one plan and addressing the patients’ comorbidities collectively. This is significant because a person with comorbidities can develop serious health issues owing to multiple factors and healthcare providers should be provided with readily available data that can help them address such issues efficiently and save the patient from grave consequences.

Further, to help patients with comorbidities, the EHR solutions must allow interoperability of their plan as they may see different specialists and at different healthcare facilities. Simultaneously, the plan must keep all the specialists concerned updated about the patient’s changing conditions and remind all the users of the plan about the due or upcoming activities that are critical to the patient’s healthcare as a proactive measure.

The kind of EHR systems that are required by the healthcare providers must enable the physicians and other healthcare staff to analyze patient data accurately to discover any safety issues that a patient may have and identify unusual clinical findings to act upon appropriately in grave situations that are totally new or unexpected as in the case of the coronavirus disease side effects. Healthcare providers must invest in the right EHR solutions to provide the best healthcare to their patients.

Role of EHRs in the Pandemic Situation