DirectTrust issues to-do list to improve clinical messaging
- DirectTrust has published a new white paper with more than 50 recommendations aimed at enhancing the usability of electronic health records (EHRs) and other health IT products for secure Direct messaging.
- The paper, developed by a workgroup of clinicians with experience using Direct messaging to support EHR sharing in clinical care, involves more than 350 EHR and HIT product vendors.
- The recommendations include suggestions for standardizing and improving the handling of both inbound and outbound Direct clinical messages, as well as facilitating the management and use of information shared during care coordination.
DirectTrust says there are number of recommendations that are required and urgently needed. Among these are: EHR software should be able to transmit Direct messages in real time and all EHR systems should be capable of automating patient matching of incoming direct messages for patients already in the recipient EHR. Highly desirable priorities for the future include that the system issue an alert if an automated message can’t be sent
Physicians across the country have been complaining about the time they spend performing EHR tasks, which reportedly consume roughly half of their workday. The problem has been cited as major factor in the rising rates of burnout among clinicians. In a recent EHR satisfaction survey, “too many clicks” topped the list of user complaints, followed by poor interoperability and annoying alerts.
Yet more hospitals and clinics are sharing patient health data despite having different EHR vendors, thanks to the Carequality Interoperability Framework, launched in December 2015. The framework allows providers to share information through a single agreement, rather than negotiating separate agreements with each organization.
Despite more widespread use of EHR data, the healthcare industry has continued to move at a slower pace with technological innovations and improvements than many others. Earlier this week, former CMS acting Administrator Andy Slavitt urged the health IT industry to try harder to identify and address shortcomings in their products that are preventing meaningful improvements in quality of care or workflow.