Monday, June 13, 2011

Making EHRs More Meaningful for Physicians - Part II

Peer rating of EHR notes!

One of the biggest problems with the profusion of meaningless data in EHRs is separating the wheat from the chaff, finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.
Something that the Web 2.0 has taught us is that the users who create data can also help to make it more meaningful.  Thus we have tags in Flickr and "likes" in Facebook.  How can we apply that to EHRs?
Every physician who has seen a patient for follow up after a long hospital admission knows what a relief it is to see a meaningful note that succinctly summarizes the hospital course.  For every useful note providing meaningful information there are tens of notes with meaningless words and phrases that don't add to patient care in any substantial way.
What if we have a thumbs up and thumbs down option next to every note?  What if anyone reading the note could give it an anonymous rating?  What if we let physicians see statistics of how many people had opened their note and how many of those rated it up or down?
Then users could filter the notes in the EHR by their ratings.  Also we could recognize the excellent work done by our infectious disease docs who document the best notes among all clinicians.  Maybe we could link this with a bonus just like we do for the meaningful use of EHRs!