In theory, electronic health records (EHRs) have the potential to transform the healthcare landscape. They were expected to provide a digital hub that would enable seamless communication and information sharing between providers, boost efficiency, improve the quality of care, and foster optimal patient and clinician experiences.
The reality, unfortunately, has not matched the possibilities.
While well-intentioned, the Federal Government’s 2011 Meaningful Use Mandate program—to incentivize physician practices to adopt EHRs—did not specify detailed standards for EHR systems. The result was a fragmented landscape of multiple vendors offering poorly designed EHRs that met the certification requirements at the expense of the provider and patient experience.
And because early EHRs lacked user-centric design, many unintended consequences followed. One of the biggest issues and strongest dissatisfiers for providers has become the amount of time they spend using the EHR system during patient visits versus interacting with the patient face-to-face.