Better EHRs for physicians and patients: Good data, right regulations are key

Over an ordinary bowl of morning cornflakes, patient Jill swipes open her phone to catch up on news. But it’s not political commentary or social network updates, it’s news about her: a review of how she performed on her movement goal yesterday; how her resting heart rate this month, on average, compared to last month’s; how her sleep habits may be contributing to productivity challenges; and the latest research about her chronic disease. A digital coach even sends encouragement, highlighting key metrics for optimal disease management and health. All before she’s left for work, this patient has a clear picture of what she needs to do to improve or maintain wellness for the day. Jill’s physician also has access to the patient-generated health data (PGHD), in addition to typical clinical metrics from diagnostic exams and labs. Alongside meaningful data from other patients, the physician can identify patterns and trends to provide more comprehensive clinical care that focuses on outcomes. He can even send electronic reminders and support about health goals along the journey. The technology to enable such proactive engagement regarding health decisions is already available, but we need the right kind of regulatory support to see these capabilities play out to their full capabilities.

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