The EHR Northstar Project: Determining Factors for EHR Record Promotion Introduction

The EHR Northstar Project: Determining Factors for EHR Record Promotion
April Moreno - Neil Patel - Ariel Reyes
Claremont Graduate University
Potential Benefits
As a result of the Affordable Care Act, clinics are required to begin the transition from
paper files and disconnected health records into an electronic health records system with
the capacity for connectivity across enterprise systems and making data available when
Also known as Electronic Medical Records, Electronic Health Records (EHR) works
beyond standard health data in order to provide opportunities and capacity for
more comprehensive patient data history. With the implementation of the Affordable
Care Act, providers are required to adopt the electronic health records (EHR) system for
all patients under their care. However, the transition to EHR has proven to be very slow,
as less than 50% of hospitals in the United States had transitioned to EHR (DesRoches et
al. 2013). Objectives of this study include contributing to research on EHR and the
improvement of health outcomes through better data collection. The findings of this
study will be formulated in a journal manuscript for publication in a public health journal.
The goal is to enhance the knowledge of health administration in the aspects of business,
IT and public health, as well as to promote the implementation of EHR.
The team was funded by the 2014-2015 Hillcrest Transdisciplinary award to conduct a
reading group on the subject of electronic health records in preparation for the design of
the research project.
The transdisciplinary nature of this project will incorporate business practices, IT
principles such as meaningful use and public health theories and by combining the views
from these three fields, we can bring to light the value of the EHR. Cases of malpractice,
wrongful deaths and other injuries have been reported and could have been avoided had
past medical information on patients been readily available to physicians.
EHR Northstar Project
The EHR Northstar Project is our work to understand the barriers, needs, and the system
requirements for hospitals and administrators to become more willing and capable to
effectively transition their records into an EHR system. The project involves data
collection and analysis toward determining the reasons impeding hospitals and clinics
from adopting the transition to electronic health records (EHR). The collection of data
will provide insight on the needs of physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators to
promote the transition from paper records to EHR. Survey questions will be gathered
from each of these three groups within the San Gabriel Valley region. The goals of the
project will include manuscript publication of the findings, in addition to working on the
first stages of mobile app solutions development.
This study will concentrate on the effectiveness of transition from the charts system and
to quantify the percent of medical practitioners and/or health facilities that have
adopted this method and benefited from its implementation. We will be interviewing
three levels of practitioners in order to gauge the efficiency of the system and to detect
barriers and hurdles encountered in this process.
Factors Affecting
Next Steps / Conclusion
Methods / Strategy
Next steps involve developing the survey and interviews with hospitals and physicians
regarding their utilization of EHR.
There is also a need for development of policy and technical assistance on EHR
capabilities for providers, and developing new ways to leverage Meaningful Use and
quality. Policy initiatives should focus assistance on EHR capabilities with slower uptake;
connect providers with technical assistance to support implementation; and leverage the
connection between meaningful use and quality recognition programs (Jones and
Furukawa 2014).
Additionally, there are the challenges of managing large data sets and providing accuracy
of the data available to health care systems. Staff must be trained in big data analysis
tools in order to navigate the data and to determine what is and is not relevant to the
purposes of the provider.
A fourth challenge is to improve the quality of data. It is necessary and relevant to
involve quality improvement (QI) leaders in designing electronic health records. QI
leaders are necessary in the development and updating of EHR systems in order to
facilitate the ability to aggregate data for performance reporting. As a result, QI
professionals will also be a valuable resource in developing metrics to track outcomes in
electronic health records utilization and quality (Jones, 2013; Wong, 1999)