Has Technology Become Too Hard For Physicians?

We live in an increasingly digital world, where it’s not uncommon to take care of everyday life from a laptop or cell phone. Digital technology has transformed the health-care space, in the form of electronic health records (EHRs), but lawmakers and government officials are worried that it’s taking away from patient care.

I was at the recent Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee hearing, and Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said many physicians can’t share their electronic health records with other providers, inhibiting the free-flow of patient data. Alexander also said that physicians spend two hours of work on EHRs for every hour they spend with a patient, citing a 2016 study from the American Medical Association.

Alexander’s concerns were backed-up by government witnesses from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. Kate Goodrich, chief medical officer and the director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at the CMS, admitted that the health-care sector is nowhere close to true interoperability, and said that provider burdens are a real concern.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is also aware of the toll EHRs are taking on physicians, Jon White, deputy national coordinator at the ONC, said. The ONC is actively working to reduce both administrative and regulatory burdens, and is working closely with the CMS on the issues, White said.

To read my full story, go to: https://www.bna.com/lawmaker-eager-reduce-n73014471572/

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