Electronic health records (EHR) are the digital formats patients’ paper medical charts. EHR allow real-time and instant consultation of a patient’s medical records by members of the care team. EHR allow greater mobility, save time from repeated of unnecessary examinations and better quality of care.
How can we improve the connectivity between clinician and patient health records?
People are increasingly motivated to look after their health. They want to have more engagement in self-care of their health conditions, and be active in prevention and wellness. There are thousands of mobile apps and wearable devices that can support people with doing that. However, most of these don’t easily communicate with healthcare professionals and the electronic health record systems they use. So, just as we have, unfortunately, historically adopted electronic health record systems that cannot easily exchange information with each other, we are on the brink of another explosion of data silos with each patient. Patients sometimes have their own multiple silos if they have an app for each condition or wellness activity, which don’t talk to each other.
There are plenty of published standards that can enable data to be shared between systems and apps, provided this is permitted, but these standards are not widely enough used by developers.
I am worried that we will see an increasing fragmentation of health data rather than the joining up that everybody needs.
Why are we in this position and what can we now do to make our systems better standardised and able to share their data, for the benefit of patients and populations, and for research? Please post your ideas!