Not many industries can nimbly handle the kind of major technological change that healthcare did when, in less than a decade, EHR adoption shot up by 80 percent. Even adding federal oversight (not to mention some financial motivation through EHR Incentive Programs) to the mix seems unlikely to drive that degree of change. With expectations and demands for meaningful use of EHR data as high as they are, it’s easy to forget that, by definition, healthcare is an early-stage industry when it comes to IT, one that’s being asked to run a marathon when it’s still wobbly on its feet. “In that short time, doctor’s offices and hospitals went from manila folders with notes handwritten on paper to electronic systems, and the industry is struggling with how to make this changeover more humane, because it’s truly not humane,” says John Schneider, chief technology officer of San Mateo-based Apixio, a cognitive computing firm that works to tease out meaningful data from EHRs and make it accessible. “You’ve got physicians up in arms because they don’t have the time to do their jobs and they need to become data entry experts.”
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