Top 5 EMR Predictions for the Year 2062

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Practice Fusion asks physicians about major trends that will change the future of health information technology.

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Physicians share their top 5 EMR predictions for the year 2062 to mark the 50 year anniversary of the first experimental Electronic Medical Records system.

This year marks the 50 year anniversary of the first experimental Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system, a joint effort between IBM and Akron’s Children’s hospital in 1962. Health technology has evolved significantly since the original EMR debut and the past few years have brought accelerated changes that seem straight out of science fiction, such as the emergence of cloud computing and mobile devices. Despite the new technologies, 80 percent of doctors are still using paper charts. Experts say the real game-changers for the medical community will come in the next 50 years.

Here’s what experts are predicting for the future of EMR:
1)    Patients rule their “living” records. “With a cloud-based interactive medical record, patients will be able to present themselves to a medical environment,” said Andrew Bronstein, MD. Orthopedic Surgeon at the Bronstein Hand Center in Las Vegas. “In essence, the patients will have a personal electronic bulletin board, with each doctor able to access the background history, medications and treatments, and then be able to view and add to the patient's ‘living’ record with their own specialized posting for other professionals to share.”

2)    User interfaces change the way we interact with hardware. “I predict that how we interface with the record will change,” said Lynn McCallum, MD, a Family Practitioner in Redding, CA. “I believe entering documentation will be less tied to a keyboard or cursor. Dictation software and smarter computers will enable us to merely talk to the computer and capture the encounter in real time; for instance, as we talk and interact with the patient and family, and as we examine the patient. Computer software could then distill away the ‘chaff’ of the visit and be able to give us the actual ‘kernel’ of the encounter. ‘Doing charts’ would just mean reviewing the record and signing off on an already completed note.

3)    Universal interoperability cuts out the miscommunication. "In health IT, interoperability (having different practice locations be able to share data back and forth) will be the center of attention,” said Robert Rowley, MD, Medical Director at Practice Fusion. “Traditional health information exchanges (HIE) will struggle, both technologically and from lack of small practice subscribers. EMR vendor to vendor will outstrip other methods as a quick and effective way of sharing information between different locations of care."

4)    Instant charting makes patient encounters a breeze. “Conducting a patient evaluation and charting that encounter won't be two separate actions,” said Vatsal Thakkar, MD, Psychiatrist at Solstice Psychiatric Consulting in New York City. “Whether this will be real-time automated transcription or some sort of EMR telepathic interface remains to be seen."

5)    Zero paper waste, more trees! “From the couch in a patient's home, I can send fax referrals, lab requisitions, medication refills and secure communication with my office assistant,” said Jody Hoppis, ARNP, and owner of Mobile Medicine in the state of Washington. “Not only does this make us more efficient, but helps in our goal to move towards zero waste as a practice.”

About Practice Fusion
Practice Fusion provides a free, web-based EMR system to physicians. With medical charting, scheduling, e-prescribing (eRx), lab integrations, referral letters, Meaningful Use certification, unlimited support and a Personal Health Record for patients, Practice Fusion's EMR addresses the complex needs of today's healthcare providers and disrupts the health IT status quo. Practice Fusion is the fastest growing Electronic Health Records community in the country with more than 150,000 users serving 31 million patients. By 2062, Practice Fusion hopes to reach every patient in the U.S. with their life-saving technology. For more information about Practice Fusion, please visit http://www.practicefusion.com/.

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Stephanie Schlegel
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