The Next Generation: A Comprehensive Electronic Health Record

Katie Lutts | 5AM Solutions | October 12, 2012

The Network for Public Health Law is holding their 2012 Public Health Law conference this week in Atlanta, focusing on the Practical Approaches to Critical Challenges in Public Health Law, and I have been in attendance. Having worked in healthcare for over fifteen years, and reflecting upon the topics thus far, it was clear that we all go about our daily lives working hard and doing everything we can to accomplish our projects in Health IT with efficiency, and effectiveness, intent upon delivering value to our customers. But what struck me, was how little we really take time to think about the impact the work we are doing has upon our individual lives and those of our families.

One of the most interesting sessions I attended addressed Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and how HITECH allows for $27B (yes, Billion) in funding incentives for physicians for meaningful use of EHRs--the equivalent of approximately $63,750 per physician--yet no standards have been mandated to require a comprehensive way of sharing EHRs among various clinicians at disparate sites.  What good is an EHR if the information cannot be shared with other health organizations as a component of creating a comprehensive care plan for each individual patient?