Reworking the EHR at VCU: Designing for the People Who Practice Medicine
// By Althea Fung //
Electronic health records (EHR) have changed the way the healthcare industry works. In the 10 years since then-president Barack Obama signed a law to accelerate digitization of health records, hospital EHR adoption has increased from 9 percent to 96 percent, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Despite high adoption rates, many doctors and hospitals report major problems with the systems.
“Electronic medical records are necessary, but many providers have a love-hate relationship — at times, a hate-hate relationship — with them because of the way they impede workflows,” says Doug Cusick, president and CEO of TransformativeMed, a clinical workflow solution that can be embedded into the Cerner Millennium EHR platform. “[EHRs] can slow productivity and increase stress and burnout rates. But it really doesn’t have to be that way.”
Founded in 2011 by a surgeon and a software engineer at the University of Washington Medical Center, TransformativeMed aims to optimize the EHR with workflow-integrated apps and a specialty-specific user interface that extends EHR functionality to fit clinical processes.
Having the ability to customize patient information has proven useful for VCU Health, which has been a TransformativeMed client for six years. “TransformativeMed worked with us to design how each service wanted the tool to look and include certain data points automatically,” says Evan Ritter, MD, a hospitalist at VCU who leads the project at the institution.