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Growing Ehr Trends: 2019 And Beyond

By Author: Prateek Shetty
Total Articles: 4

EHR systems were built to excel in containing a comprehensive account of the patient's medical history and treatment details such as laboratory test results, radiology reports and immunization dates, just to name a few. They also double up as a robust and secure platform that allows doctors to collaborate on patient diagnosis and treatment. The multifaceted features of EHR systems have led to widespread EHR adoption. The disruptive potential of EHR systems has now become a vital cog in the healthcare ecosystem and an essential tool that doctors and physicians use to ramp up the accuracy of patient diagnosis and treatment. Federal governments, medical institutions and insurance companies are all spearheading the adoption process in one voice.

EHR development and maintenance service providers play an important role in ensuring that medical practices conform to the regulatory guidelines established by US Department of Health and Human services (HHS). The services of these providers are essential in enabling healthcare providers to balance their operations against the vast expanse of EHR regulations such as NCPDP, ICD 10, QRDA CCDA, FHIR, EDI X12, and more. Most importantly, it helps healthcare providers stay in sync with developments that happen with EHR regulatory standards and functionality.

The recent developments in EHR health systems, both in terms of functionality and regulatory changes are a testament to the dynamic nature of the healthcare industry in the United States. Some of the many momentous developments that have happened with them in the recent years are as follows:


Cloud Integration: One of the more profound technological advancements for EHR systems comes in the form of cloud hosted services. They provide medical practices especially the small sized ones with significant costs savings by decentralizing data storage models. The seamless convenience of cloud storage is capable of responding well to EHR regulatory changes. The customized pricing models that vendors offer to medical practices further augments the effectiveness of cloud integration making it affordable and reliable for medical practices such as clinics. Earlier they found it difficult to cope with the enormous costs of legacy EHR systems that required in house storage and bespoke server stacks.

ONC’s Proposed Rule: ‘The proposed rule’, announced by the ONC that supervises the secure access and the exchange of EHR entries, is one of the most significant regulatory changes that have transpired in recent years. Along with the US Senate’s decision to reintroduce the EHR regulatory relief act to decrease the negative effects of regulatory changes, the proposed rule has been at the forefront of the ONC and the CMS’s commitment to deregulating requirements for providers. The regulatory bodies have been on a mission to make quality assessment easy, which has also led to the CMS leveraging the ‘meaningful measures’ initiative to make reporting by hospital and physician practices more value centric in nature.


Increase in Number of Vendors with Certified Products: The onus has been on EHR vendors to introduce regulatory changes into the system that they deliver to medical practices. The ONC reports that a vast majority of hospitals now bank on certified EHR systems to fulfill their duties. With small scale medical installations swiftly jumping onto the EHR bandwagon, this has opened up a lucrative opportunity for new vendors to fill the void in the need for bespoke certified solutions in the EHR development market. The priority of new vendors currently is to cater to the needs and organizational goals of small scale medical practices and to increase their adoption of EHR systems.

Introduction of Blockchain Technology: Robust security has always been one of the biggest benefits of using EHR systems. They provide a platform that facilitates encrypted data transfer, fully adhering to the latest HIPAA regulations that safeguard privacy of patient health records. The advent of blockchain technology and its use in EHR such as hyperledger has amped up the security of the entire platform by taking full advantage of the decentralized architecture of blockchain technology. Hospitals and other healthcare firms can now leverage the integrity of the immutable ledger system of blockchains to maintain patient health records. Insurance companies can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing that blockchain makes duplication and manipulation of EHR data next to impossible.

Increase of Patient Access: The most updated mandates of the US HIPAA regulations state that patients have a right to access their electronic health record at any given point of time. US federal laws are now making the push to introduce EHR development changes which provide patients with seamless access to their health records. The primary motive behind this move is to improve the tech awareness among patients and to enable them to monitor their health better by receiving real time updates about their treatment plans and test results.

Focus on Interoperability: Patients, doctors, vendors and technicians are the four main parties that comprise of a healthcare practice. Doctors depend on third party vendors such as equipment manufacturers and technicians to make the call on specific aspects of patient treatment. For example, they are heavily dependent on MRI scans to diagnose a wide variety of ailments. This makes the interoperability of EHR systems more important than ever before. This is the biggest catalyst that has been driving EHR developers to optimize data transfer and access management of their systems to facilitate collaboration between all four parties. The move to achieve greater interoperability has garnered momentum in recent times. The year 2019 is expected to bring more innovative and collaborative features to EHR systems

More info: https://blog.nalashaahealth.com/oncs-proposed-rule-improve-interoperability-electronic-health-information/

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