Healthcare organizations are increasingly investing in electronic health records with a view to improve patient care and make it cost-effective. However, many EHR systems are not comprehensive or complete in that they contain only 30 – 50% of patient information. A considerable amount of patient data is contained in document repositories and many clinical IT systems. Moreover, some providers maintain paper-based as well as digital files, which makes the sharing of these records difficult in a purely digital environment. Patient data must be made easily accessible for speedy clinical decision making, teaching and research purposes. The need of the day is an integrated patient record solution that can provide healthcare providers with a complete patient-centric view of health information. Such a reliable system can optimize patient care and reduce costs while also offering the following benefits.
- Ensure patient privacy and regulatory compliance
- Digitize paper medical records
- Link patient healthcare data to all other applications and systems
- Ensure seamless collaboration across the enterprise
- Access and share diagnostic images
While a complete electronic medical record solution is advantageous for an enterprise, the possibility of sharing healthcare records across enterprises and even states is a great advantage indeed. Recently, Athenahealth and Cerner confirmed their partnership with Apple, to develop integrated HealthKit solutions. The two medical record providers are looking to develop systems capable of monitoring patients remotely by means of connected biometric measurement devices tied together with HealthKit. This would enable physicians to access the required patient information and offer the right diagnoses and care.
Athenahealth plans to provide care for patients with chronic conditions, and Cerner plans to provide care teams with easier access to general medical records. HealthKit from Apple helps doctors to collect data from supported sensors and monitors including those present in iPhones. The relevant data stored in a centralized location is a great boon and requirement from the point of view of efficient care coordination. This is something current digital medical record systems lack and is therefore very significant from the viewpoint of accurate diagnosis and patient care as well as with regard to medical record review for medical and legal purposes.