Guest Column | February 17, 2015

IT Innovations Disrupting EHRs Across The Healthcare Continuum

By Dr. Donald Voltz, MD, Aultman Hospital, Department of Anesthesiology, Medical Director of the Main Operating Room, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Case Western Reserve University and Northeast Ohio Medical University.

Thanh Tran, CEO of Zoeticx, Inc. also contributed.

It is strange to discuss disrupting EHRs since their widespread adoption began only five years ago with the HITECH Act of 2009. In the last five years, there have been hospital and EHR adoption rate increases of almost 50 percent and 26 percent, according to the 2014 Report to Congress on Health IT Adoption.  

Given the hurdles involved with selecting, implementing, and developing new provider workflows, and in some cases, ripping and replacing an initial install, why further disrupt Health IT?

New social media-based technologies, software design, methodologies and investment trends will soon be causing significant disruption to hospital EHRs.  With the advent of digital, mobile, and open medical IT environments, EHRs need to adapt to these new technologies. Middleware connectivity, single platform data views and new medical applications that transform patient data into workflows that deliver data where it is needed, when it is needed, are already available from healthcare 2.0 vendors.

The widespread implementation of EHR systems less than a decade ago with 748 Health IT vendors supplying certified EHR applications to more than 400,000 healthcare providers in CMS and ONC incentive programs. Many of the current, commercially available EHR applications have been in use for more than 30 years in academic medical centers, hospitals, physicians’ offices and government, but varied greatly in functionality.

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