What’s next: Agile hospitals will move into the post EHR era

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Dr. John HalamkaOver the next few months, the majority of my time will be spent discussing topics such as care coordination, healthcare information exchange, care management, real time analytics, and population health. At BIDMC, we've already achieved 100% EHR adoption and 90% Meaningful Use attestation among our clinician community.  Now that the foundation is laid, I believe our next body of work is to craft the technology and workflow solutions which will be hallmarks of the "post EHR" era. What does this mean? I've written previously about BIDMC's Accountable Care Organization strategy, which can be summed up as ACO = HIE + analytics. In a "post EHR" era we need to go beyond simple data capture and reporting, we need care management that ensures patients with specific diseases follow standardized guidelines and protocols, escalating deviations to the care team.    That team will include PCPs, specialists, home care,  long term care, and family members.  The goal of a Care Management Medical Record (CMMR) will be to provide a dashboard that overlays hospital and professional data with a higher level of management. How could this work? Imagine that we define each patient's healthcare status in terms of "properties."   Data elements might include activities of daily living, functional status, current care plans, care preferences, diagnostic test results, and therapies, populated from many sources of data including every EHR containing patient data, hospital discharge data, and consumer generated data from PHRs/home health devices. That data will be used in conjunction with rules that generate alerts and reminders to care managers and other members of the care team (plus the patient).   The result is a Care Management Medical Record system based on a foundation of EHRs that provides much more than any one EHR. My challenge in 2013-2014 will be to build and buy components that turn multiple EHRs into a CMMR at the community level. This will require philanthropic funding, in kind contributions from selected vendor partners, and a willingness to take a risk on creating something that has never been operated at scale in the past. I wrote previously about the reluctance of healthcare to change and adopt new delivery models. BIDMC is a unique learning laboratory because 65% of its patients are already in global captivated risk arrangements. If the CMMR can be created anywhere, it's at BIDMC which strives to be agile and transparently share all its early experiences with the world. I'm willing to lead the CMMR effort.   In my discussions with many stakeholders over the next few months, I'm hoping to create a guiding coalition that will join me.

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Dr. John D. Halamka

By Dr. John D. Halamka

Dr. John D. Halamka is chief information officer and dean for technology at Harvard Medical School who writes at Life as a Healthcare CIO.
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Thank you for sharing. It is fascinating to see that this line of thought exists to better manage and understand the way healthcare is managed. Hospitals can and should be managed more efficiently with an agile and flexible response to help lower costs, improve efficiency via the accurate diagnosis and tracking of patient recovery utilising our access to the increasing the power of analytics.


Interesting post Dr. Halamka.  I work for an open source technology development firm in San Diego, Achieve Internet, and we are trying to identify the newest innovations in Healthcare IT.  We feel that Open Source Technologies, such as Drupal, can solve many of the problems that will challenge and continue to challenge the industry for years to come.  Your post is very provoking and I would love to discuss in more depth where you think there is room for improvement, because we have a great team of developers that really want to create the most cutting edge technology to solve some of those challenges. We are working on developing some of those as we speak and would love further insight from such a respected and forward thinking CIO as yourself. Feel free to reach out to me by email if you would like to connect further, ben [dot] schluter [at] achieveinternet [dot] com I would greatly appreciate it.