Imagine a technology solution that allows all healthcare stakeholders to collaborate, all clinical data to be gathered and shared at the point of care (POC), and all medical services to be delivered anywhere, aligned with evidence-based care programs and strategic business goals. How does this compare to your current situation?

According to the global market intelligence firm IDC, today’s key priorities for healthcare executives and clinicians are to connect with suppliers and partners while also aggregating data. The great news is that life sciences and healthcare organisations are getting ever-closer to this utopia. As I explained in a previous blog, it’s perfectly feasible to enhance current technology investments by adding an open information management platform. This single step enables what’s known as Electronic Health Records (EHR) 2.0 – the development of a patient-centric information-sharing ecosystem in which everyone can participate and interact.

How a patient-centric open-technology approach enables healthcare utopia

There are benefits for all sides.

    • Patients will be able to access their own data and become participatory instead of passive recipients of care. They will be able to contribute patient-reported outcomes and enrich their healthcare records with their own insights, including data from wearables, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and more. This is especially important for patients suffering from chronic disorders such as diabetes, CHF, COPD and other conditions. Similarly, each patient will have access to virtualised and real medical expertise and support in any given situation; they can enjoy easier two-way digital communication with all their caregivers and make their own bookings.
    • Clinical professionals will have a clear 360° view of each patient’s available data gaining a holistic perspective on treatment and care. There will be true longitudinal patient records at the POC integrating the entire disease career of a patient. By including subject-matter expert (SME) data, the doctor will be significantly supported in information-based clinical decision making. Each doctor will be able to continue using best-of-breed clinical applications – when existing technology investments connect to the right EHR 2.0 solution, it may be necessary to modernise legacy applications, requiring extensive data clearance and migration to the new technical ecosystem. Doctors and other clinicians will be able to access this data even from their smartphones and other mobile devices.
    • Healthcare executives will be able to create and profit from new business models such as care coordination and population health management models. By accessing a pay-as-you-go cloud-based platform and software-as-a-service applications, the CFO will happily switch from CAPEX to OPEX investment. Life sciences and healthcare organisations will be able to preserve capital and achieve value-based care management, directly linking technology usage to recurring costs. In a hospital, a successful EHR 2.0 implementation can improve margin-per-bed by reducing length of stay, optimising occupancy, enabling management of multiple resources, and many other mechanisms. And all types of healthcare organisations will achieve a more granular understanding of performance and outcomes. Taken together, these qualities will boost the organisation’s brand, making it easier attract skilled employees and access future R&D and innovation funding.

By putting patients at the centre of the delivery model, EHR 2.0 will enable data-driven decision making, time-and cost-saving process automation and optimisation, data at the point of care, and mobility. It will also expand cooperation between caregivers and patients from the very earliest, preventative or pre-acute care stage right through to post-acute care. Most important of all, you don’t need to use your imagination – it’s happening in healthcare right now.

In my next blog, I’ll be looking at another important capability of the EHR 2.0 ecosystem – a true cross-sectorial approach. Be one of the first to read this: just click to follow me on LinkedIn. Please also share your thoughts below on patient-centric healthcare delivery.

This blog post is the second in a four-part series “Electronic Health Records 2.0” that explores the digital transformation in life sciences and healthcare Industry.