Electronic Health Records (EHR), recent updates underscore a commitment to advancing patient access, interoperability, and privacy standards. As per Healthit.gov, key developments have shaped the trajectory of EHR policies, influencing the landscape of healthcare information management.

Policy Enhancements for Patient Access

On 23rd January 2024, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services took strides to enhance policies for patient access to health information. An event in October 2023 served as a platform to highlight initiatives dedicated to fostering a more seamless and accessible experience for patients in managing their health data.

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Guidance from Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC)

The Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC) assumes a pivotal role in shaping policies related to EHR. As of 18th January 2024, experts within HITAC are set to guide the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) on crucial standards, spanning areas like interoperability, privacy, and patient access to information. This concerted effort aims to establish comprehensive and robust frameworks for the EHR landscape.

Transformative Role of EHRs in 2021

In 2021, Electronic Health Records (EHR) emerged as catalysts for enhancing patient information accuracy and accessibility at the point of care. These systems provided invaluable insights into healthcare costs and outcomes, ultimately supporting the delivery of quality care. Notably, in Germany, the implementation of the Patient Data Protection Act mandated electronic patient records, reflecting the global shift towards digitizing healthcare information.

Global Perspectives on EHR Implementation

While the adoption of EHR systems is widespread, a survey in Norway illuminated physician concerns. Issues such as system interruptions and perceived complexity were identified as challenges in the seamless integration of EHRs into healthcare workflows. This insight emphasizes the importance of ongoing evaluation to ensure continuous improvement in healthcare effectiveness and efficiency.

Innovations in Data Collection: HINTS6 Survey

In 2022, the Health Information National Trend Survey (HINTS6) introduced inquiries about people’s comfort with sharing social needs data, specifically focusing on food, housing, and transportation. Results from the survey indicated that approximately 60% of Americans expressed comfort with their healthcare providers sharing information about their social needs with other providers for treatment. This innovation in data collection showcases a broader understanding of patient care, encompassing not only medical but also social determinants of health.

As we navigate the recent updates in Electronic Health Records (EHR), it’s evident that the landscape is evolving to prioritize patient access, privacy, and interoperability. These policy enhancements and technological advancements not only shape the current state of healthcare information management but also lay the groundwork for a future where EHRs play an even more integral role in delivering personalized and effective healthcare services.

NextGen Healthcare’s Partnership with American Podiatric Medical Association

In July 2023, NextGen Healthcare joined forces with the American Podiatric Medical Association to enhance their “NextGen Office” platform. This collaboration specifically focuses on refining podiatry blueprints that address issues related to diabetes and injuries. By combining NextGen Healthcare’s technological expertise with the specialized insights from the American Podiatric Medical Association, the “NextGen Office” platform aims to elevate podiatric care to new heights.

CPSI’s Expansive Partnership with Mid Coast Health System

June 2023 marked a significant expansion in the partnership between CPSI and Mid Coast Health System. The implementation of Electronic Health Records (EHR), accounts receivables, and IT-managed services at Crockett Medical Center in Texas signifies a comprehensive approach to healthcare management. This initiative extends beyond Crockett Medical Center, with other Mid Coast hospitals like El Campo Memorial and Palacios Community Medical Center also embracing CPSI solutions. This widespread adoption underscores the effectiveness and versatility of CPSI’s integrated healthcare solutions.

MEDITECH’s Collaboration with Canada Health Infoway

In May 2023, MEDITECH forged a partnership with Canada Health Infoway, connecting to their e-prescribing service, “Prescribell.” This collaboration facilitates seamless electronic prescription transmission from MEDITECH’s Expanse EHR to the patient’s chosen pharmacy in Canada. The integration of “Prescribell” streamlines the prescription process, simplifying new prescriptions, renewals, and cancellations. This innovative collaboration between MEDITECH and Canada Health Infoway aligns with the shared goal of advancing healthcare technology for improved patient care.

Oracle Cerner and King’s College Hospital’s Electronic Medical Records Upgrade

In February 2023, King’s College Hospital in Dubai embarked on a transformative journey by partnering with Oracle Cerner to upgrade its electronic medical records system. Leveraging Oracle Cloud services, this initiative aims to enhance the efficiency and accessibility of patient data, ultimately improving the overall quality of healthcare services provided by King’s College Hospital. The collaboration between Oracle Cerner and King’s College Hospital signifies a commitment to staying at the forefront of healthcare technology advancements.

These recent developments showcase the industry’s commitment to advancing healthcare technology for better patient outcomes. Collaborations between technology providers and healthcare institutions are paving the way for more streamlined, integrated, and patient-centric solutions. As we witness these transformative changes, it’s clear that the future of healthcare technology holds the promise of enhanced efficiency, accessibility, and overall improvement in the delivery of healthcare services.

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By Sanskruti

Sanskruti Sathe is a passionate healthcare professional author dedicated to improve advancing healthcare knowledge. With over a decade of experience in the field, Sanskruti has worked in various healthcare research institutions. She holds a Master's degree in Public Health and has authored several articles and books on topics ranging from chronic disease management to healthcare policy. As an advocate for evidence-based practice, Sanskruti continues to contribute to the healthcare community through her writing and consulting work.