Healthcare is moving toward integrating data systems and eliminating silos but economics and logistics remain barriers to electronic health records, according to Andrew L. Pecora, MD, FACP, CPE, chief innovation officer professor and vice president of cancer services at the John Theurer Cancer Center.
Andrew L. Pecoa, MD, FACP, CPE: Well, I think the principle reason why those today who have not gone to an electronic health record is probably going to be a combination of economics and logistics. It is expensive and it’s not just the expense of purchasing the EMR but the upkeep, the transition from paper charts to electronic charts, how it affects your billing and collection. And many physicians and offices and even some hospital systems, they’re at their limit of what they can handle. Their margins have been really compressed to very low numbers, so they don’t have a lot of time. So I think that’s the problem.
In regard to the disconnect, I think everyone realizes even though we’ve not yet to prove, everyone realizes that the era of paper charts and paper medicine has come to a close and that’s because in order for us to coherently move into the era of precision medicine and payment reform, those two things together, you’re going to have to have access to data. You have to be able to analyze data and you have to be able to report back on the data you analyze, and the only way to do that is through electronic record.