Ann S. O’Malley, Kevin Draper, Rebecca Gourevitch, Dori A. Cross, and Sarah Hudson Scholle
A. S. O’Malley, K. Draper, R. Gourevitch et al., “Electronic Health Records and Support for Primary Care Teamwork,” Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, published online Jan. 27, 2015.
Electronic health records (EHRs) and clinician teamwork have emerged as complementary approaches to strengthening the provision of primary care. For this Commonwealth Fund–supported study, researchers interviewed clinical and administrative staff at 27 primary care practices recognized as patient-centered medical homes by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, as well as three national experts on primary care, about the practical effects of these changes and how practices are overcoming challenges.
Interviewees believed EHRs enhance communication within their practice teams. They also pointed out that EHRs, along with revised clinical workflows, can allow nonphysicians to take on expanded roles, freeing physicians to focus on more complex aspects of care.
Practice staff also noted challenges, and suggested potential solutions:
Primary care practices should work with health IT experts to bridge the gap between workflow and EHR use, and communicate to vendors the enhancements practices need.