AMA House of Delegates calls for standardization of EMRs

A recent meeting of the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association (AMA), the largest doctors’ group in the country, led to the organization calling for the standardization of electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHRs) between hospitals around the nation, reports Reuters.

At the conference, representatives of the 216,000 members of the AMA discussed the pitfalls of the current EMR/EHR system, stating that they often have difficulties accessing information from disparate sources due to differences between hospitals’ health informatics tools.

As a result, the group plans to lobby hospitals and other healthcare providers to standardize their systems, allowing doctors around the country to see patients’ medical information no matter where they are working.

“Standardized EMR interface designs will help physicians working at multiple facilities with different EMR systems better navigate and use EMRs to help their patients,” said Dr. Steven Stack, a board member of the AMA.

According to the website of the AMA’s 2011 House of Delegates conference, the meeting also included an event titled “Challenges in the Adoption of Health IT for the Small Practice.” This lecture provided doctors working outside major hospitals with information on how they can adopt health informatics tools in a timely manner.

This workshop featured discussions of many subjects, including the definition of meaningful use as well as the relative benefits of a client server system versus cloud computing. Dr. Michael Hodgkins, the chief information officer of the AMA, also gave attendees guidelines for how to bring EMRs/EHRs to rural practices.

“Remember, there’s no rush,” Hodgkins said during the meeting. “You can take the time to think through the decision and still earn full incentives.”

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