EHR functionality needed to support primary care


Electronic health records (EHRs) must support primary care clinicians and patients, yet many clinicians remain dissatisfied with their system, according to an abstract of “Electronic Health Record Functionality Needed to Better Support Primary Care,” published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

The article presents a consensus statement about gaps in current EHR functionality and needed enhancements to support primary care.

The Institute of Medicine primary care attributes were used to define needs and meaningful use objectives to define EHR functionality.

“Current objectives remain focused on disease rather than the whole person, ignoring factors such as personal risks, behaviors, family structure, and occupational and environmental influences,” states the abstract.

“Primary care needs EHRs to move beyond documentation to interpreting and tracking information over time, as well as patient-partnering activities, support for team-based care, population-management tools that deliver care, and reduced documentation burden.”

The authors state that while stage 3 meaningful use objectives focus on outcomes is laudable, enhanced functionality is still needed, including EHR modifications, expanded use of patient portals, seamless integration with external applications, and advancement of national infrastructure and policies.

EHR, Journal of American Medical Informatics Association, Institute of Medicine, Electronic Health Records