NHS, HHS collaborate to advise providers on successful EHR adoption

Officials from the U.S. and the United Kingdom have teamed up to identify how to adopt and use electronic health records effectively in both countries, according to a new joint report from the Department of Health and Human Services and NHS England.

The report, released Feb. 23, is a collaborative effort to determine "what good looks like" regarding the successful adoption and optimization of electronic records for patients. It is a result of a review of the literature on good practices as well as a series of case studies.

The authors outline steps that providers can take to ensure successful adoption and maximization of their technology utility. The report aims to identify the factors that contribute to successful adoption, provide general learning in both countries and summarize approaches and tools to use. It also outlines essential attributes needed for such success, including:

  • Buy-in by all staff
  • A solid core of a standardized and reliable infrastructure
  • A strong relationship with one's vendor
  • Interoperability, which is dubbed "impreitive"

"The findings ... have been synthesised into a set of essential attributes which can be used by organisations to consider when embarking on a digital health transformation program," the report notes. "These are derived from the key learning points addressing cultural aspects, workflow design and workforce competency and leadership qualities. All of these attributes require significant initial and ongoing effort, often with delayed but ultimately positive results."

The report did not address how many providers have yet to adopt EHRs or what percentage may be struggling with the transition. Recent reports have found that vendors have begun to improve their products to increase provider satisfaction with the systems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that, as of 2014, almost three-fourths of doctors were using certified EHRs; more hospitals than ever are successfully using full EHRs to increase patient safety.

To learn more:
- read the report (.pdf)