Thursday, September 5, 2013

Electronic Health Records and Social: What does the future hold?

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Electronic health records provide many benefits for patients.  However, the full integration of these electronic health records by 2015 is still an uphill battle.  According to the News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington, since 2009, over $6 billion has been spent in order to get electronic health records in order.  The second wave of money coming into the system will allow patients to be more involved with their records.  With the increased amount of electronic flexibility, one would think doctors use it to reference other available electronic health records for their patients - but only 45% do.

But what if we could make electronic health records more robust? Jennifer Bresnick of EHR Intelligence points to the simplest of all digital channels right now: social media. She saw several things that could hold this initiative back, though. Will tweets and social posts that are tweeted be taken seriously when translated into electronic health records? Will they be given the same amount of respect as when patients tell their doctors things in an exam room? It should be considered. Digital tools are allowing patients to be more involved in their care, why not allow tools to tap in to social channels to create a fuller picture of their everyday interaction with their medication and health behavior. We all know the difficulties, but as the EHR programs become versatile and robust, this is one way the programs can be more useful for patients and doctors.
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