What's Ahead for EHRs: Experts Weigh In

Booz Allen Hamilton

Industry experts from health care and informatics ponder the future of electronic health records during the implementation of "meaningful use" and beyond.

February 2012

After a slow start, provider acceptance of EHRs has reached a tipping point, partly as a result of incentives surrounding the meaningful use program. That's the consensus of industry experts invited to weigh in on the considerable challenges of EHR adoption and to envision the future landscape for both the makers and users of the technology.

Interviewees pointed out some of the unintended consequences of the meaningful use program, including continuing problems with EHR usability, costs that are prohibitive for some practices, a dampening of innovation, and a continuing need for patient centeredness and interoperability.

Asked to provide their vision for EHRs over the next five years and beyond, they predicted that the future generation of EHRs will offer:

  • Further integration with mobile technologies
  • Greater affordability and personalization for providers
  • More accessibility and interoperability with other systems
  • Greater emphasis on patient centeredness to encourage patient engagement in care decisions and communication with providers

The experts generally agreed that physicians and patients should have greater input into future EHR-related legislation and regulations. However, they disagreed on which forces should drive continued EHR development. Some promoted further government involvement and intervention, while others believed EHRs would advance more quickly if market forces were left to drive innovation.

The complete report is available as a Document Download.

Also below is the video of a February 16, 2012, webcast, "EHRs 2.0: What Does the Future Hold?" from Booz Allen Hamilton. The webcast was moderated by Susan Penfield of BAH and included these panelists:

  • Peter Basch, MD, FACP, ambulatory EHR and health IT policy, MedStar Health
  • Ted Eytan, MD, MPH, director, The Permanente Federation, Kaiser Permanente
  • Peter L. Levin, PhD, chief technology officer, US Department of Veterans Affairs
  • L. Gordon Moore, MD, director of clinical transformation for Treo Solutions and president of Ideal Medical Practices