EMR Features with the Most Potential

“Physician order entry and decision support I believe offer the most chance of improving healthcare delivery. There are a lot of information systems with bells and whistles that don’t focus on physicians’ real needs.” – Neil R. Powe, MD, MPH, MBA, Chief of Medical Services, San Francisco General Hospital source

I previously posted about the benefits of EMR interoperability. The above quote touts Physician order entry and clinical decision support as the most likely to improve healthcare. Are these the three most promising features of an EMR or is there something they’re missing? What’s the killer feature of an EMR that will make every doctor implement an EMR whether they like it or not?

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • John,
    Replacing the infinitely variable formats now used by all EHR, PHR and HIE platforms to report patient diagnostic test results as incomplete, fragmented data with a standard reporting format that displays complete, clinically integrated, easy-to-read information is as important as user-friendly CPOE and Clinical Decision Support.

    Only a clinically logical, standard format can address the semantic and process (workflow) interoperability layers necessary to achieve seamless, fully interoperable HIE across the care continuum. Finally doing this will reduce the number of screens and pages by up to 80 percent, enhance readability and help physicians reduce their duplicate and non-contributory testing.

    The flawed variable reporting formats were created and have continued to waste time and money and endanger patients since the mainframe computer era, but even with the new focus on making EHR use “meaningful” this important structural flaw in existing EHRs has been largely ignored by the HIT Vendors.

  • I am writing custom software for an oncology practice and physician order entry was the very first thing my customer requested I implement. Order entry as an oncologist can be an especially tedious task as not just one order needs to be written, but an entire course (or many!) needs to be scheduled. And good luck changing doses or dates on the fly! We are adding lots of features as we go in this phased development, but order entry is what prompted the switch from a paper workflow.

    I am chronicling the development of this program at ankhos.blogspot.com. Please feel free to gain insight into our development process. This is a new product we feel is missing from the market and would love to share our ideas with other EMR specialists and oncologists!

  • Nice blog Nick. A tech person like myself interested in EMR will really enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work and passion. It’s a brutal world you’re entering with so many EMR companies competing. However, I think the strategy of choosing a solid niche with a lot of unique characteristics is a good one. Perfect exit strategy to be sold off to one of the larger EMR companies once you gain traction.

  • I hope so 🙂 I’ve enjoyed your blog for a while now and can’t wait to be able to give something back to the community. Hopefully people will either learn something from my blog or will come up with even better ideas with which we can compete.

  • I’m obviously a BIG fan of blogging. I can’t imagine doing something without a blog. It’s a fantastic way to communicate and connect with people.

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