Giving Compass' Take:

• Jennifer Bresnick explains that using universal electronic health records in an integrated system can potentially build more trust in data capability within healthcare. 

• Medical professionals in the U.S. report having more problems with EHR systems and their functionality. Could more training in new technology help address that issue?

• Read about the efficiency of health information exchange.

Healthcare providers in the United States generally don’t harbor very warm feelings for their electronic health records (EHRs).

Despite efforts from vendors and regulators to improve the experience of interacting with these foundational health IT systems, dissatisfaction and frustration with usability issues and fragmented information are still causing users’ blood to boil.

It may seem counterintuitive, therefore, to suggest that expanding the industry’s reliance on EHRs is actually the key to making EHR use less stressful and more useful – but that is exactly what the 2018 Future Health Index, commissioned by Philips, seems to indicate.  “Universal EHR” structures, in which every citizen’s electronic health record is connected to a single national system, are tied to higher trust in the healthcare system and higher value for patients, the international assessment showed.

Unified electronic records have also prompted national governments to address issues of privacy and security, data integrity, and health information exchange that are left up to the private sector in other countries – with varying degrees of success.

The interest in integration could be a little bit of a chicken-and-egg question: Spanish providers and patients may prioritize integration because they feel it is expected with a nationalized system, while US patients and professionals are more aware of the functional limitations of the current piecemeal approach to interoperability and data exchange.

The report points out that individuals who view their health system as more integrated are much more likely to trust that system than those who have a less positive view of data exchange capabilities, the report added.

Read the full article about electronic health records by Jennifer Bresnick at Health Analytics.