While EHR vendors might say otherwise, authors published in the June 14 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine state that diverse functionality doesn’t need to reside in a single EHR system.
“[T]here’s a clear path toward better, safer, cheaper and nimbler tools for managing heatlhcare’s complex tasks,” wrote Kenneth D. Mandl, MD, MPH, and Isaac S. Kohane, MD, PhD, from the center for biomedical informatics, Harvard Medical School in Boston.
The authors stated that early health IT offerings were cutting-edge yet contemporary EHRs “distinctly lag behind systems used in other fields,” adding “most [contemporary] EHR vendors not only have failed to innovate but don’t even embrace existing modular architectures with interfaces that allow extension of product capabilities, innovative uses of data and interoperation with other software.”
They wrote that more than 700 vendors now produce approximately 1,750 distinct certified products yet fail to interoperate which has not helped patients or physicians. “Furthermore, despite this sprawl, a few companies controlling much of the market retain entrenched in ‘legacy’ approaches, threatening other vendors’ viability.” Mandl and Kohane argued a healthy IT market would favor disruptive innovations for improving communication and patient engagement.
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