An early advocate for the electronic health records now found in hospitals across the country has developed a plan to improve their use, lighten clinicians’ workload and enhance patient care.
The University of Virginia School of Medicine’s Don Detmer, MD, MA, designed the improvement plan in collaboration with Andrew Gettinger, MD, of Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. Detmer oversaw UVA’s adoption of electronic physician order entry in the early 1990s while vice president for health sciences. That move made UVA one of the first academic health centers in the country to embrace electronic records.
In the new proposal, published in the Journal of American Medical Association, Detmer and Gettinger outline what they are calling “essential electronic health reforms for this decade.”
Electronic health records, commonly called EHRs or EMRs, were introduced to improve record-keeping and assist doctors and other health professionals in providing the best care possible. But with their implementation came increased documentation responsibilities that added to an already heavily workload for clinicians and that can contribute to provider burnout. Further, many argue that the required documentation can distract from focusing on patients during visits.
Detmer and Gettinger seek to tackle these problems head-on. “Lack of action by national leaders saps the energy and motivation of health workers,” Detmer said. “Health and safety should count for more, and action on our recommendations could improve both.”
Read full press release in the UVA Health newsroom.