What CHR means?
Over the next year, you will hear less and less about EHR and more and more about CHR. What does it mean? Why the change?
What does CHR mean?
CHR means Comprehensive Health Record. Initially coined by Epic CEO, Judith Faulkner, the term is now being frequently used by other EHR vendors like athenahealth.
Why the change?
Keeping track of acronyms in healthcare can be a bit like keeping track of all the storylines in the Marvel Universe. Their is more than decade of history and you need to know all of it.
EHRs were originally known as EMRs (Electronic Medical Records), but were "officially" changed in 2011 by ONC because EHR (Electronic Health Records) better captured the goal of having more patient data vs. just faciliating the point of care.
Now, CHRs have come. Comprehensive alludes to EHRs aiming to include more comprehensive data on patient health. Specifically, socially determinant data and other wellness factors like your Fitbit data.
Since a patient's health can't be cared for in one 20 minute annual appointment, this comprehensive approach should give a more complete picture of a patient for the provider and their care team.
Three Issues to Consider
There has been some pushback on the C in CHR.
1) 'C' should stand for connected.
UCSF researchers believe that the C in CHR should stand for connected,
"A static, allegedly comprehensive health record misses the dynamics of an interactive, learning health system," said the UCSF researchers. "Rather, patients, providers, population health agencies, registries, payers, researchers, social service agencies, community centers and accountable care organizations all need interconnected systems and records." (Source)
One HOPES that in a drive to create a Comprehensive Health Record, there will be a byproduct of creating a more connected one since gathering lots of data necessates integrating with many different platforms.
2) Too much data?
There is daily news on misuse of data and growing public mistrust in sharing data. Will this impact the goal of achieving a CHR and should it? While it is relevant to a provider if someone just lost their job (causing increased stress levels for example), does the individual's right to privacy supersede these benefits? Merely asking a patient to sign a form waiving these rights does not seem adequate.
3) Mo' Data, Mo' Problems (for providers)
Providers are already stretched very thin and physician burn-out is a major concern. If CHRs are to be introduced, then tech companies need to build these products in such a way, using machine learning for example, that they do not overburden providers. Dumping even more data on providers without easily actionable insight will render that data useless.
CHR shall be the term of the future, but will all the data drive better healthcare outcomes or will it drive greater challenges in providing care?