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What Might an Ideal EHR Look Like?

by John Moore | April 24, 2008

A Blog I frequently visit is that of John Halamka, the CIO at Boston based Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.  Halamka is also one of those people that has seemingly unlimited amounts of energy, is on all sorts of committees and arguably, one of the sharper minds out there with a deep understanding of healthcare IT.

Halamka put up a very good post yesterday on what he foresees the ideal Electronic Health Record  (EHR) would look like.   Really a soup to nuts review going from clinical notes to images to labs to data  management and everything in between.  Well worth the read.

The only issue I had with the post was in the definition of EHR.  I go under the assumption that EHR=EMR + PHR.  So, while Halamka talks about a future EHR, looking more closely, he seems to be really talking about a clinician focused EMR system for there is no discussion of consumer input, or folding in of PHR information, (just pushing information out into a PHR).  This is a serious flaw, unless of course he replaces the EHR acronym with EMR in his post.

The future will have a consumer that is far more engaged in managing their health and probably a bit more demanding on the doctor.  The engaged consumer will want a greater say in the EHR, via their PHR.  Not accounting for such in the “Ideal EHR” results in an EHR that is paternal and will ultimately fail.

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