Brothers and Sisters in Healthcare, that day is coming, the day when federal subsidies for electronic medical records (EMRs) will cease and EMRs will have to prove to be a wise investment by the provider community. Gone will be the time when the sole focus is on meaningful use criteria attainment related to rollout of medical records and the cold steely eye of the CFO will be searching for tangible return on investment after the millions and billions of dollars spent on installation and tuning of these complex medical information systems.
We are rapidly entering a time of value realization for the most transformational work flow change in the history of inpatient care. EMR systems must prove their value in two ways: (1) providing a unified view and access to the patient data, and (2) generating valuable information about what actually works in the patient
treatment process. Since most of the patient population didn’t come with owners’ manuals when they were born, the ‘right’ way to treat them can only spring from analysis of historical data about effective treatments. What’s more, we can determine what works for the tribe and what works only for certain
individuals. Just as the NASA moonshot spun-off consumer progress, the digitization of medical records will spin off better ways to improve the health of the herd.