EHR Trends That Will Dominate In Future

Top EHR Trends - PrognoCIS
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According to one recent study, about 78% of office-based physicians and a massive 96% of non-federal acute care hospitals had developed some type of certified EHR by 2021. To put that into perspective, those numbers were 28% and 34% just ten short years ago.

The benefits of electronic health records are plentiful, and they go far beyond simply providing accurate, up-to-date, and complete information about patients to medical providers. They help make collaborative care among multiple providers more coordinated and efficient. They help enable more reliable (and ultimately safer) prescribing of medication. They enhance the privacy of patient data, help practices improve productivity, and reduce costs that can be better used elsewhere.

Indeed, technology has come a long way in the last decade, which is why EHR adoption rates are through the roof. But, for as impressive as the past and present of EHR technology are, it’s equally exciting to think about what is on the horizon. There’s a reason why global electronic health records market spending is anticipated to grow by 4.1% per year between now and 2030. Right now, there are several critical EHR trends that are playing out that you should absolutely be paying attention to moving forward.

The Evolving Situation With Interoperability Policies

At its core, “interoperability” just means two or more systems that are capable of communicating and sharing data with one another. In a healthcare setting, obviously not every practice will have the exact same deployment of software that they’re working with.

This is why interoperability policies are one of the major EHR trends that people are paying attention to. Providers need to be able to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate with one another, regardless of the systems they’re using. Because of that, in 2024 and beyond EHR developers and IT professionals will continue to update new and existing EHR systems to comply with the most robust (and safest) approach to interoperability possible.

The Continued Impact of Cloud Computing

With that increased emphasis on interoperability comes a continued push into the world of cloud computing. After all, if a system is built to make it easy to share information, it stands to reason that you would want to embrace the easiest way to do so of all: the cloud.

But presently, the element that most are spending the majority of their time on is security. According to one recent study, about 45% of all healthcare organizations experienced some type of phishing attack in 2021 alone. The potential cost of a data breach is enormous. So, while organizations and EHR providers continue to embrace the cloud, they look for ways to do so while empowering security and privacy, not sacrificing it for the sake of convenience.

The Power of Standardization

As is true with a lot of examples of technology that professionals rely on, 2024 will see an ongoing push from the EHR industry for increased standardization. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, for example, has already released a series of regulations that organizations must follow. If they do, they can still have an EHR in their practice – but if they try to use it for anything truly meaningful, they’ll likely wind up on the receiving end of some fairly significant penalties as a result.

Robotic Process Automation: The Future Is Here

When most people hear about robotic process automation (RPA), they think about it in a manufacturing setting. They envision armies of robots picking items off warehouse shelves to be shipped out to consumers. In an EHR context, robotic process automation will continue to be used to exponentially enhance workflows.

Not only does RPA make it possible to automate critical data capture, but it helps meet manual data entry requirements and significantly increase accuracy as well.

Telehealth: A Newer, Better Patient Experience

Along the same lines, telehealth will continue to become the new norm in healthcare in 2024 and EHR systems will play a major role in that. Telehealth use really exploded during the pandemic but even now that things are opening back up again, people still prefer the convenience and the overall quality of the experience compared to traditional in-person visits.

When paired with the right EHR, telehealth offers a myriad of benefits. It can automate data entry, synchronize insurance information to make billing accurate and easier, streamline virtual care activities, and so much more.

IoT, AI and Voice Recognition: A Brave New World

The Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and even voice recognition are not new concepts – but the ways in which they’re being incorporated into modern day EHR systems continues to innovate.

AI-powered voice recognition can make it easy for providers to document an appointment with a patient in great detail, for example. Professionals can spend less time focused on data entry and more time on the patient themselves. Overall, AI makes electronic health record systems more efficient in a way that take the natural advantages of automation to the next level. Before, automation was just about freeing up valuable time by offloading tasks to a machine. Now, it can be about doing totally new things with that free time that would have been unthinkable even a few years ago.

Blockchain and EHR: Exceptional Transparency and Security

Blockchain technology is poised to eliminate one of the many  EHR issues that people who are slow to adopt still have: privacy and security. Because the blockchain uses cryptography, it’s essentially a surefire way to make sure that only people who need access to a particular record have it – keeping sensitive patient data away from prying eyes. It does this without requiring various integrations with your existing Electronic Health Record system, thus significantly reducing an organization’s attack surface. Because the blockchain is permanent, you also have total transparency into who is accessing records, what information they’re adding, and more.

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