AMIA Developing Informaticists’ Vision for EHRs of the Future

AMIA Developing Informaticists’ Vision for EHRs of the Future

As hospitals and physician practices struggle to meet Stage 2 standards for Meaningful Use (MU) of EHRs, the federal government is getting ready to write the rules for Stage 3. With interoperability – a centerpiece of Stage 2 – lagging, providers are questioning the direction of the whole program, and federal officials appear to be listening.

“We need to think past the MU program,” Erica Galvez, interoperability and exchange portfolio manager at Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) said during last month’s American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) annual conference in Washington, D.C. However, that does not mean that MU has become irrelevant. “It’s one of a number of tools” for achieving interoperability, Galvez said.

Galvez referenced the 10-year interoperability roadmap that ONC is developing. “Don’t think of it as a final product,” she said. “Think of it as a starting point.”

With that in mind, AMIA, representing medical informatics professionals and academics, is working on its own vision for the future of EHRs. At the conference, members of the organization’s “EHR-2020” task force presented ideas for what EHRs should look like in 2020, and solicited input from its membership.

Dr. Thomas Payne, medical director for information services at the University of Washington’s UW Medicine health system and chairman of the EHR-2020 task force, said to expect formal recommendations from AMIA before the end of winter.

The task force has the stated goal of developing recommendations “to assure EHRs fit well into evolving workflow of healthcare delivery, support team-based care, enhance productivity and safety, and are as easy as possible to adopt.” They are supposed to highlight areas where AMIA and its membership might be able to act on the recommendations.

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