Why smartphones won't help with EHRs

While smartphones and other new devices are useful tools in everyday life, they might not be so helpful with electronic health records (EHRs).

In a recent conversation with AMA Wire, Blaine Takesue, MD, a research scientist and assistant professor of clinical medicine, argued why smartphones and newer devices won’t help with EHR training, saying smartphones and newer devices cause challenges because of smaller screens, newer systems and intuitiveness.

Takesue said while smartphones and devices essentially work as tiny computers, their size would make it hard for EHR data to be entered and read. He also said most EHR systems for large healthcare organizations were created decades ago and don’t have the same “user functionality” as newer smart devices.

“The problems is that many of the most widely used EHRs were not created from 2000 on—they were created last century,” Takesue said. “What we use in medicine and what we train our students on is legacy technology. There may be a solution that translates really well to mobile, which will allow questions to be answered quickly, but it’s not in wide use.”

Takesue also said smart devices can anticipate potential communications by using a form of artificial intelligence to provide answers and solutions, while EHR systems aren’t as intuitive and “don’t provide the information to the user at the time they need that information.”