Information Overload: Creating a More Readable Electronic Health Record (EHR) Model
Over the past few years, many doctors and nurses have traded in their clipboards for laptops, logging patient symptoms and test results electronically to be stored safely in a database. What patients may not be as clear on, though, is whether this new system, known as electronic health records (EHR), is increasing the quality of their health care.
A University of Missouri doctor has assembled a team of researchers to take EHR from a public policy buzzword to a truly functional medical tool. Funded in part by a Mizzou Advantage seed grant, Dr. Jeffery Belden, associate professor of clinical family and community medicine, is collecting quantitative and qualitative data to find out what information the users (physicians, nurses, patients and financial auditors) are looking for in electronic health records.
Once analyzed, the information will allow Belden’s team to create a prototype that has different “layers” (or screens) for respective stakeholders, as well as develop recommendations for best practices for other EHR products.
“Current barriers to the EHR adoption include issues with usability, readability, loss of efficiency and productivity and divergent stakeholder information needs which are crammed into one form-factor,” said Belden. “In order to fully develop the model, we need to more clearly understand the various stakeholder information wants and needs.”
The data collection is well underway, with research assistants interviewing health care providers, patients and auditors. The preliminary findings about what these audiences seek in EHR technology has been used to support an MU grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
The team is also pursuing funding from the California HealthCare Foundation to develop an interactive eBook on improved information display in electronic medical records and for personal healthcare records.
Finally, as Belden continues gaining information to develop a new prototype, he is in on-going discussions with Cerner and MU’s Tiger Institute to license and commercialize this exciting new piece of intellectual property.
One Health/One Medicine