The barriers to electronic medical record systems and how to overcome them.
Institutions all want electronic medical record (EMR) systems. They want them to solve their record movement problems, to improve the quality and coherence of the care process, to automate guidelines and care pathways to assist clinical research, outcomes management, and process improvement. EMRs are very difficult to construct because the existing electronic data sources, e.g., laboratory systems, pharmacy systems, and physician dictation systems, reside on many isolated islands with differing structures, differing levels of granularity, and different code systems. To accelerate EMR deployment we need to focus on the interfaces instead of the EMR system. We have the interface solutions in the form of standards: IP, HL7/ASTM, DICOM, LOINC, SNOMED, and others developed by the medical informatics community. We just have to embrace them. One remaining problem is the efficient capture of physician information in a coded form. Research is still needed to solve this last problem.
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA. 1997 May-Jun;4(3):213-21.
Author: C J McDonald
PMID 9147340, PMC61236