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    Verma: Time to ‘reset’ EHRs to get to interoperability

    After nearly a decade of regular use, it’s time to rethink and restart how physicians use electronic health records (EHRs), according to Seema Verma, administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.


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    Speaking December 1 at the annual meeting of the Office for the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in Washington, D.C., Verma said she has heard a great deal of frustration on the part of physicians during her initial nine months in office.Seema Verma

    Feeling the systems were, “not built for them, but more suited as billing systems,” Verma said she understands that lack of user buy-in by physicians affects their job satisfaction, patient care and many of the initiatives generated by her office.

    “We hear that physicians are taking time from patients [to deal with EHRs] and staring at computer screens,” said Verma.

    This includes data required by the Medicare Quality Payment Program and the need to demonstrate value-based care by reporting patient outcomes.

    She said in discussing data reporting for CMS with one hospital, it “turned my stomach” that the facility had to hire 18 people to manually extract information from its EHR versus having the technological means to collect and report the information required by CMS.

    Next: Resetting EHRs to move forward

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