Physicians to Discuss Reboot of Mandates for Electronic Health Records

WALTHAM — In response to widespread physician discontent with electronic health records (EHRs) that lack usability and interoperability as necessary features, the American Medical Assoc. (AMA) and the Mass. Medical Society (MMS) will hold a virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29 to give physicians and others a chance to discuss concerns about poorly designed EHRs and the impact these systems have on patient care.

The U.S. government has spent $25 billion under the ‘meaningful-use’ program to promote a digital health infrastructure based on the power of EHRs to enhance patient care, improve productivity, and reduce costs. And while more than 80{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of physicians have adopted this technology, many physicians strongly believe the current course of meaningful-use regulations threatens to turn the promise of EHRs into a pipe dream.

Critics say stringent government rules require EHR systems to serve too many functions and have twisted the technology so it interferes with face-to-face discussions with patients, struggles to share important healthcare information between different systems, and diverts resources away from patient care.

During the live event — taking place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the MMS, 860 Winter St., Waltham — the AMA will also discuss its ongoing initiatives to reframe federal regulations and encourage better-designed EHRs that emphasize high-quality patient care as the primary focus. Speakers include Dr. Henry Dorkin, MMS vice president; Dr. Kenneth Mandl, a biomedical informatics researcher at Boston’s Children’s Hospital; Dr. Steven Stack, AMA president; and Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, AMA board member.

The event will be streamed online starting at 7 p.m. To attend in person or view the online simulcast, visit Physicians and others who are not able to participate in this event can still make their voice heard by visiting to share thoughts and experiences about EHR problems and solutions.