Senate Health Committee Wants to Fix the $28B EHR Disaster

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With bipartisan support, the Senate Health Committee announced that there will be a full committee work group to figure out the best ways to improve electronic health records (EHR) according to HITConsultant.com. Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the Senate Health Committee stated “After $28 billion in taxpayer dollars spent subsidizing electronic health records, ‎doctors don’t like these electronic medical record systems and say they disrupt workflow, interrupt the doctor-patient relationship and haven’t been worth the effort."

He also stated "The goal of this working group is to identify the five or six things we can do to help make the failed promise of electronic health records something that physicians and providers look forward to instead of something they endure.”

The work group will also be working to facilitate the seamless flow of patient information between various EHR vendors. This term is known as interoperability, which would undoubtedly help doctors and hospitals improve quality of care and patient safety while also increasing productivity throughout the U.S. healthcare system.

One of the main goals of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to put the onus on patients to take charge of their healthcare by empowering them to engage their healthcare providers. Patient engagement is important but the security of a patients health information is also critical. Hopefully the larger EHR vendors that don't seem to benefit from interoperability will come to the table with other healthcare professionals and government agencies to solve this massive dilemma.

Tommy King is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of www.medicalgroups.com. Tommy's deep and unique knowledge of healthcare economics comes from several years of working with physician groups, commercial and governmental payors, practice managers, and professional healthcare investors from leading institutions across the country. Prior to www.medicalgroups.com, Tommy was Director of Sales and Marketing for MedVision, a California-based RCM company. During this time, the company was recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies in Southern California by the Orange County Business Journal.