This article was originally published by Healthcare IT News.
Pivot Point Consulting Partner Jon Melling recently sat down with Healthcare IT News to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of electronic health records (EHRs). Here’s what he had to say on the challenges for EHR optimization.
EHRs definitely need to be optimized, industry analysts say, but going about it brings forth some thorny issues regarding healthcare’s changing business model, utilization protocols, definition of purpose and enriching the technical capabilities necessary to give them more functionality.
As for why EHRs haven’t yet become a pinnacle of success for the modern age, the menu of reasons is vast.
Jon Melling, partner with Scottsdale, Arizona-based Pivot Point Consulting, can cite a multitude of reasons himself. The challenges are all over the map, ranging from regulatory difficulties to the business model transition to cost questions to confusion over the EHR’s role in the organization.
“My concern today and for a number of years now, is that the vendors are overloaded with federal and state mandates of which to be aware. As a result, there’s concern on whether vendors and providers can cope,” Melling said.
“There seems to be disconnect between timeframes being placed on them. Therefore, it forces them into a situation where vendors have to find a way to make it work,” he added. “For end users, optimization is a wish that the vendors could do more. However, the only way seems to be a workaround. That is suboptimal and creates more work for end users.”
Likewise, healthcare’s transition from fee-for-service to a value-based business model also presents challenges for EHR optimization, Melling said.
Final Thoughts: Challenges for EHR Optimization
“As we move to value-based reimbursement, we have a variety of venues to select. This includes value-based care and fee-for-value, which are incompatible in the system,” he said. “FFS, which goes back to the diagnostic-related group policy in 1983, can have a code placed into the charge master. This supports the level of granularity and payers will cover it. But that is only a partial solution and not a lot is settled.”