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What Comes After EHRs?

Through the HITECH Act, the federal government is providing billions of dollars of incentive payments to healthcare providers to adopt certified electronic health record systems. However, realizing the full value of these investments is in jeopardy due to the pervasive data quality problems that currently exist within many healthcare provider organizations. Next week David Loshin, President of Knowledge Integrity and me are hosting a wide ranging discussion on healthcare data quality: what it is; why it matters so much; how we got in the mess we’re in; and what can be done to make things better moving forward.

For example, it’s common today for inconsistent allergy information to be captured by different people, in different applications, at different points in the care process – and simply using a certified EHR does nothing to solve this problem. This is particularly true in situations where an organization is using a different vendors EHR in the inpatient and ambulatory settings, but the problem is by no means eliminated simply by using the same system in both care settings. This is but one example of the types of data quality problems that exist, with far reaching impact on both quality of care as well as the ability to use the data for analysis and research.

I have spent 15 years in healthcare on the vendor side, as well as a senior IT leader for large healthcare providers. Between David and me, the two of us will have a lively discussion that includes a view from the front lines in a large provider organization, as well as David’s viewpoint that sees improving data quality as the single most important issue facing healthcare organizations today. We’ve also authored a joint white paper that will be available following the webinar and should provide some good food for thought for organizations concerned about “what comes next?” after the EHR is implemented and being used by providers within their organizations.

Over the coming weeks and months, I will be expanding on the topic of data quality in healthcare and what can be done to improve this most critical resource for improving quality of care and enhancing the efficiency and cost effectiveness of our healthcare system. The simple fact is that until we ensure our data is reliable and trustworthy, we will never be able to realize the fantastic potential the rich data source our national investment in EHRs represents.

To register for the webinar next Wednesday October 26th at 11.00am PT/2.00pm ET please visit our website for more details.

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