Report: Change EHR Priorities

Hospitals should consider changing their priorities when implementing electronic health records, automating documentation of physicians’ notes earlier in the game, a new report suggests.

The change in priorities would help hospitals provide adequate data for “core measures” that many payers demand, according to a new white paper from Computer Sciences Corp., a Falls Church, Va.-based consulting firm. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, other payers and some states often require hospitals to use a set of national quality performance measures for pay-for-performance programs and other projects.

“The typical sequence of implementing the inpatient EHR usually places electronic problem lists and physician documentation at the end of the journey, although the medical and surgical core measures rely heavily on information that can be provided by these sources,” the CSC report states. “Moving up the implementation of the electronic documentation of the physician history and physical and the electronic problem list (including surgical care and the ED) is worth considering because it would provide a more complete information base for concurrent quality management.”

The report also says hospitals should speed their efforts to document medication reconciliation to provide complete information on medications for use in core measure reporting.

“During each step of the journey to a fully implemented EHR, hospitals needs to build in core measure-related clinical decision support and maximize the ability to collect the information needed for quality management,” the report adds.

To view the full report, “Core Measures: All About the Data,” visit

--Howard Anderson

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