In attending the “2010 EHR Summit” sponsored by The Ohio Council I was fortunate to sit on a panel with many informed leaders addressing electronic health and behavioral health records. We all had a fascinating and diverse conversation about our vision, direction and next steps. Steve Duff coordinated the “Summit” and had collected real-time data from participants on a variety of EHR issues. I have not seen this data summarized yet but I was surprised how many small organizations ($2 million or less operating) were still seeking solutions for having an EHR. I applaud The Ohio Council’s decision to have this Summit.
As our Ohio EHR Collaborative Team commences for implementation this fall, it will be important to take note some of the key issues. I predict there will be at least three important points of focus; one, can we keep implementation costs down to where organizations can benefit from the collaborative; two, can organizations become more standardized in clinical approaches avoiding “unique and multiple” clinical documents; and three, can we effectively train our clinicians on useful procedures in using EHR?
The Ohio EHR Collaborative will allow each organization to control and maintain confidentiality of its data without the level of dependency needed to sustain other models. Yet, the Collaborative fosters an “interdependency” where unique organizations can be cost efficient, avoid clinical redundancy and provide a culture that fosters a “learning community.” Behavioral health organizations must still find their niche in the Health Care Arena; this chilling fact will not go away. As leaders muddle through their strategic window, they will notice the EHR issue will be dead center in their windowpane!