How can electronic health records usher in a new era in care delivery?
Joe Scherger, MD, Consulting Medical Director, Lumetra, discusses how EHR can change care delivery.
Barry: Joe Scherger, we were talking earlier about your experience with healthcare informatics, which suggests to me that maybe just talking about records may not get fully at the potential benefits that the electronic age presents for improvement of care. Talk about that.
Joe Scherger, MD: No, Barry, I’m most excited about the fact that we’re on the cusp of a whole new way of healthcare delivery. Electronic records in the
hands of a patient, not only their doctors, but available in the patient and the doctor, allow for care to be done other than a face-to-face visit. And I deliver most of my communication and care online with my patients, seeing them whenever necessary. I’m always available. But I think we’re at the beginning of a revolution where we’re going to move from “making an appointment, come and get it care,” which has delay and inefficiency, to actually proactive consumer-directed care delivery with their providers. And I think it’s going to be a change that’s just as great as online banking and online travel coordination, online investing. I think that healthcare kind of had a ten-year delay for various reasons. But between now and the middle of the next decade, I think 80 percent of Americans will have their own Web-based medical home where their medical record happens to be. But what they’ll be able to do from that medical home goes far beyond just the fact that they have a digital record.