What is wrong with the EHR?

Prof. Dr. Jim Cimino (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA) is a board certified internist and clinical informatician and Director of the UAB Informatics Institute. He has decades of experience in developing clinical information systems and controlled medical vocabularies at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center as well as an excellent track record in integrating heterogeneous clinical and research data at the US National Institute of Health. His current research involves development of systems to support clinical and translational researchers and exploring new paradigms for improving electronic health records. Based on these experiences, on August 3rd 2018 he gave a MIRACUM seminar presentation, asking “What is wrong with the EHR and how do we fix it?” at Frankfurt University Hospital. The take home message of his presentation was not just that the EHR needs fixing and that there is a path forward. Much further, the most important messages were

  • that additional informatics research is needed to figure out how EHR systems can be made more semantically enriched and context-aware and
  • that, if once developed it will require changes to how medical, nursing and patient education are carried out and we will have to include this in our curricula and even in “patient teaching activities”