By Julie Fouque, VP, Marketing
As healthcare transitions to value-based care, providers are going to have to face the fact that one hurdle they need to overcome is patient data spread across multiple EHRs.
They’re starting to do this by consolidating to a primary EHR (often one of the larger systems like Epic or Cerner). But most of the consolidation projects move only a portion of patient data to the primary system, usually to the tune of only 2-4 years of patient records.
They do this because it doesn’t make sense to use a production EHR to store historical patient records. Massive amounts of historical (inactive) data is both costly to keep on a production system and slows it down.
The result is that many years of patient records are staying on the legacy EHRs.
Why is this a problem?
Because clinicians have no (easy) way of accessing historical patient records scattered across legacy systems the organization has effectively put in “read-only” mode.
And healthcare providers are beginning to hear complaints from patients. When they go to the doctor (as I did recently), they’re finding that their provider can only bring up their recent medical history on the shiny new corporate system. They just don’t have easy access to patients’ older medical records that weren’t moved to the new system.
I’m not a doctor, but I do know that my health is a journey that lasts my whole life. If my doctor can’t access my medical history to treat me, then how will she make an informed assessment?
The answer is she can’t. And as providers move toward value-based care, there simply is no excuse for excluding patients’ medical histories from their care.
EHR consolidation projects must account for ALL patient information, not just recent medical histories. When providers adopt a single EHR, the project must include consolidating historical records to a single archive that clinicians can access from the production EHR.
It’s not just smart, it’s critical to providing informed care.