Electronic Health Records(EHR): The way forward series – I

Each of us has experienced the frustration of waiting for long periods at Healthcare Facilities when we or our dear ones are not feeling their best. Finally, when we do get into the consultation room, a sense that the doctor is not giving 100% attention to us and the assessment may not be well thought through, nags us. Well! Statistics indicate that 1 out of 8 diagnosis may be faulty!* Who is to be blamed, the doctor? Supply demand situation? Non-Systematic Clinical Processes? Fee based Healthcare? Lack of Family Doctor?

Less than two decades ago, we had a family doctor who knew our family and personal health history, practised general medicine and had a handful of patients.Today a doctor spends around 5 minutes per patient, instructs test routinely, skims through the test report and comes up with an assessment. To add to this, the relationship between the doctor and patient is limited to these brief encounters.

We can only wish for a Family Doctor! With global trends and nuclear families, we have to move forward and find a sustainable solution. Electronic Health Records (EHR) with ownership resting with the individual is a perpetual solution. Such an EHR is not linked to a particular Healthcare provider or system of medicine; complying to international standards, access anytime and anywhere and has multilingual support.

OpenEHR, an open international forum defines a healthcare model that will remain relevant with evolving clinical practises and health data. Government of India has published EHR Minimal Data Set (MDS) in August 2013 and is in the process of updating the same by 2016 end.

EHR.Network from Healthelife Ventures is an Cloud EHR Platform that empowers individuals to create, store and manage their Health data perpetually. It is OpenEHR compliant and supports MDS prescribed by GOI.

An Application enables a doctor to view the patient persistent information that includes current health condition, medication, allergies etc., This will enable the Physician to get factual information of the patient. Details of all health interventions would be accessible. The doctor could enter details of current intervention in easy to use interface. Scope to create a draft entry and submit later is provided. Persistent information may be updated by the doctor. Diagnostic Test Reports created as EHR are also visible to the doctor.
The individual remains in control at all times. The doctor is well supported with Decision Support that analysis computable patient health data.

EHR.Network, an anytime, anywhere E Family Doctor.


Health and Wellness trends around the world and the emergence of Electronic Health Records(EHR)

Pace of development is increasing across the world thanks to greater innovations that affect every facet of human life. This has great impact on the way people live, work and take care of their health.

As the society is moving more and more into an information driven one, physical work is getting replaced with mental work. This, while reducing the physical exercise that is required to keep our body health, is also increasing our mental stress, causing the emergence of a new phenomenon called lifestyle diseases – diabetes, hypertension, depression, mental stress etc.

With the emergence of increased instances of lifestyle related conditions, modern healthcare is becoming more about managing these conditions and less about treatment of diseases caused by pathogens and infections. Such health condition management is generally of long duration, often lifelong and requires the collection, management and analysis of the person’s lifelong health information and it’s trends.

Many countries across the world have recognized this need for lifelong clinical information of their citizens and have implemented Electronic Health Records (EHR) policies & guidelines. EHR is defined as “A person’s Lifelong Holistic Health History, intended to be used for improvement of the overall health and wellbeing of the person”.

2016 Report of the third global survey on eHealth by World Health Organization(WHO) reports that “There has been steady growth in the adoption of national EHR systems over the past 15 years – and a 46% global increase in the past five years”. Currently the countries with the highest EHR adoption rates are: Norway (98 percent), Netherlands (98 percent), United Kingdom (97 percent), New Zealand (97 percent), Australia (92 percent), Germany (82 percent), United States (69 percent), France (67 percent), Canada (56 percent) and Switzerland (41 percent). EHR adoption is gathering pace and continues to expand around the world.

Indian government has initiated the process of EHR adoption with the publication of its EHR standard in August 2013 and second revision in December 2016. It has also initiated the formation of National e-Health Authority (NEHA), to manage the EHR policies and guidelines for the country.

EHR policies and guidelines are intended to help agencies working on improving overall health and wellness of people. By being EHR compliant, they can ensure that their work complements the other health related activities of the person and provide them lifelong benefit. Further, by systematically managing and analysing the health data generated during their work, the agency can bring in systematic improvement to their programs and make them more effective. Such information also allows them to demonstrate the effectiveness of their work and improve participation.