Clinicians Urged Not to Wait for Perfect Technology
The health IT community needs to stop waiting for universal consensus on standards for document formats and data exchange, says a keynote speaker at the Toward an Electronic Patient Record conference.SALT LAKE CITYHealth advocates clamoring to substitute paper charts with electronic ones are shortsighted. Thats according to Rick Peters of the American Academy of Family Physicians, who gave the keynote address this week at Toward an Electronic Patient Record, an annual conference sponsored by the Medical Records Institute. The health IT community needs to stop waiting for universal consensus on standards for document formats and data exchange, he said. "Take a solution that isnt perfect, and just do it." But simply turning a paper chart into an electronic one is not necessarily a solution, Peters said. To be a solution, technology must make patients healthier, make clinicians lives easier or make health care more efficient.
That means that electronic medical records should open up new ways of providing health care, or at least change the way that medicine is practiced so that wasteful processes are either eliminated or automated.