Six Strategies for Electronic Medical Records Systems

Venkatraman, S., Bala, H., Venkatesh, V., and Bates, J. “Six Strategies for Electronic Medical Records Systems,” Communications of the ACM (51:11), 2008, 140-144.

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The health care sector, despite its importance, is still behind most other industries such as retail, manufacturing, and financial services to leverage information technology (IT) for operational and strategic purposes. Effective development and successful implementation of IT systems are immensely critical for the health care sector as it has direct implications for patient safety, mortality, and better quality of life. In this paper, based on a case study of one of the largest health care providers in the nation, the Veteran Health Administration (VHA), we discuss several potential drawbacks of current electronic medical records (EMR) systems and offer six key strategies for development and improvement. We expect that these strategies will have important ramifications for the overall IT architecture of health care providers and help them improve the quality of patient care.
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