The Comprehensive Health Record (CHR) is more than just a new acronym in healthcare IT. The CHR represents a growing expectation that the electronic health record can and should expand its role to provide a broader record of each patient’s health picture, which ultimately should lead to better patient health outcomes.
Epic CEO, Judy Faulkner, is credited with coining the term CHR at this year’s Epic user group meeting. She explained at the event that CHRs must provide information that is not in the EHR now, including social and community care documentation provided outside of the hospital or clinic walls. Faulkner refers to tracking and recording social determinants – like other countries do — such as what a patient is eating, how they’re sleeping or if they are feeling lonely or connected in their life. She says these elements are notably important in ensuring patient health.
While many EHR vendors report they are working on incorporating more interoperability into their systems, the key continues to be data integration. Cerner’s President, Zane Burke promised: the vendor would equip next-generation interoperability with the ability for “data to flow freely,” between its own Millennium EHR and other vendors’ software.
As EHRs evolve and technology advancements continue, the reality exists that most health systems have numerous legacy systems that are outdated. These legacy systems were designed and implemented long ago and simply cannot be expected to fulfill future CHR demands. In fact, unless the data from these systems is securely made available to the CHR, it could become vulnerable from a usability or security standpoint.
One solution to keep pace with the still ever-expanding volume of health data we may begin to collect as a part of a CHR is to create a legacy data management plan that could include a secure and searchable archive of all patient historical data. The ability to access and search legacy records compliments the role of the CHR by shoring up and maintaining the fuller clinical patient narrative, potentially making it available via single sign-on from the CHR.
Are you ready to create a legacy data management strategy that will truly enable your organization to be nimble and equipped to meet future CHR expectations? Download our “Creating a Legacy Data Management Strategy” document for an outline of a five point strategy that is customized for each organization and rounded out with a commitment for collaborative execution. Perhaps the best part of the strategy is that it identifies significant areas to mitigate risks and provide cost savings.
We look forward to connecting to help you have everything you need to guide your EHRs into the “comprehensive” future.