NFL, NBA embrace EHRs

Professional sports organizations appear to be jumping on the electronic health record bandwagon, with both the National Football League and the National Basketball Association announcing deals to partner with vendors this month.

The NFL is entering into an exclusive partnership with eClincialWorks to provide EHRs to team physicians, who will have access to players' medical information at practices, during games and while players are in training. The records will contain year-round medical data, and players will be able to connect to their records via a patient portal, according to the Nov. 19 announcement.

The league follows in the footsteps of the NBA, which according to a Nov. 14 announcement, will work with Cerner to standardize healthcare coordination via an automated care management system dubbed HealtheAthlete.   

"For the first time, all 30 NBA teams will be connected in an integrated platform to manage the health of their athletes on and off the court," the announcement said.

The decisions of both leagues appears to continue a trend of health technology use in high-profile sports. EHRs were used for the first time at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in London last summer, storing data for roughly 700 athletes. The U.S. Olympic Committee intends to use GE Healthcare's Centricity Practice Solution at least through the 2020 games.

What's more, the NFL is using an electronic sideline replay system for injury assessments, and how half (16) of its teams are using iPads to assess concussions. That number is expected to grow to 32 teams in 2013.

To learn more:
- here's the NFL announcement
- read the NBA announcement