To address the challenges of electronic health records adoption, the American Medical Informatics Association’s EHR-2020 Task Force has issued 10 recommendations for creating a person-centric, learning health system over the next five years.

Published and presented publicly on Friday at the AMIA iHealth 2015 Clinical Informatics Conference in Boston, the task force recommends changes that will “support patient engagement, improve provider workflow, support innovation, and set the stage for future improvements” designed to transform healthcare in this country.

In its report, the task force makes 10 recommendations in five areas: simplify and speed documentation, refocus regulation, increase transparency and streamline certification, foster innovation, and offer person-centered care delivery. Yet, despite these EHR challenges, the task force concludes that “these problems are soluble and the future for EHRs is bright.”

“It’s about empowering patients and the care team members so that they can all contribute as first-order participants in the care process,” Doug Fridsma, M.D., president and CEO of AMIA, told Health Data Management.

Also See: AMIA Task Force Recommends Ways to Improve EHR Use

According to Fridsma, the most significant interoperability and health IT regulation of the past year has been the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ targets to try and create alternative payment models. He observed that there is a natural tension between using EHR systems to guide and document care, and to provide adequate documentation to ensure appropriate reimbursement.    

“We applaud the efforts to move to value-based purchasing,” states the AMIA task force. “Less prescriptive and more flexible requirements for documentation will focus attention on outcomes and clinical relevance, and will speed the adoption of better ways of capturing and documenting clinical care.”

The task force report notes that “proposed new rules from CMS may dramatically change the nature of financial incentives in Shared Savings Programs” and that “new reimbursement models can help facilitate and support the integration of novel technological ways to deliver and document care for patients and populations.”

The full report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, can be found here.

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