The average health system uses 18 EHRs

By Naomi Diaz for Becker’s Hospital Review

The typical health system uses 18 different EHR vendors across affiliated providers, yet these systems often lack seamless communication capabilities, leading to challenges, Lown Institute reported Jan. 2.  

These challenges include patients encountering difficulties in accessing their data, physicians ordering redundant tests, patients being labeled as alive when they are deceased and limited interoperability with federal and state records.

But some steps are being taken to improve the EHR. 

In December, CMS introduced the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement, offering standards and facilitating collaboration between public and private entities to address gaps in health information exchange among EHR systems. Five organizations, recognized as Qualified Health Information Networks, have officially adopted this framework and can commence data exchange immediately. The hope is that many more will follow suit.

Another potential solution to tackle the element of patient misidentification in the EHR involves the implementation of unique patient identification numbers, a policy supported by certain specialty groups, health systems and industry organizations.

According to Lown, as solutions are being advocated, the expectation is that the benefits will extend beyond individual hospitals, impacting entire health systems by mitigating physician burnout, reducing administrative costs and delivering high-quality care.

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