HHS Releases Draft Guidance to Ease Use of EHRs
On December 31, 2018 by Jodi Boyne
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking comments on draft guidance intended to streamline the use of electronic health records (EHRs) and other health information technology (IT). Comments are due Jan. 28.
The draft, Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs, responds to feedback that the regulatory and administrative requirements to use EHRs take time away from patient care and work counter to their intended benefits. The draft strategy includes three goals:
- Reduce the effort and time required to record health information in EHRs for clinicians.
- Reduce the effort and time required to meet regulatory reporting requirements for clinicians, hospitals, and healthcare organizations.
- Improve the functionality and ease of use of EHRs.
Stakeholders said clinicians rely on checkboxes, templates, cut-and-paste functions and other workarounds to use their EHRs. The stakeholders also cited that the required documentation guidelines led to note bloat, making it harder to find relevant patient information and coordinate a patient’s care effectively. One recent survey of 20,000 physicians found that one third spend 20 or more hours per week on administrative tasks.
The recommendations are intended to allow physicians and other clinicians to provide effective care to their patients with a renewed sense of satisfaction for them and their patients.