What: Electronic health records offer the opportunity to better integrate clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) at the point of care, but the technology and physician practice must evolve, according to a paper published at BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making. Just sending out more reminders to physicians won’t do the trick, researchers say. At this point, most information about best practices is “parked” in lengthy documents or graphics, such as decision trees, that are too cumbersome for physicians to parse during a patient encounter.
Why: The holy grail of EMRs from the clinician’s point of view is an intelligent tool that can help make clinical decisions based on best-practices developed over time and geography. The technology is available. It is a matter of properly setting up the systems in order to realize their full potential.