Intelligent EHRs – What are they?

September 12, 2007

In an article on Government Health IT, the Intelligent EHR is discussed by a Mayo Clinic physician. Is is something more that an EHR with decision support tools? One quote says, “information becomes [directly] available and usable to a computer so one can repurpose that information for secondary uses such as quality monitoring and research and education.” The article also cites this as “minimally invasive informatics” which avoids disruptive changes in medical practice. But what does it really look like?

Is it simply decision support like alerts? This can result in alert fatigue. It may include quality monitoring, research, pay for performance, biosurveillance – all items which add value to the EMR. Yet there are “some barriers, particularly the increasingly complex ethical, political, technical and social issues surrounding secondary uses of personal information.”
Maybe the real future of an intelligent EHR with be something similar to the sematic web – intelligent agents bringing just the right amount of information to the point of care.

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