Adriana Allocato
Adriana Allocato (Research Manager, Health Insights, IDC Europe)
Silvia Piai
Silvia Piai (Research Director, Health Insights)

While electronic healthcare record (EHR) applications were initially born as digital repositories to replace paper medical record, they have gradually evolved into integrated platforms to address healthcare ecosystems market dynamics. They are now set to automate workflows, optimize clinical and administrative functionality, and offer more holistic and longitudinal views of patient information.

Healthcare systems, along with clinicians and patients, have primarily driven this revolutionary journey. They have gradually shaped the development of EHRs systems capabilities and workflows, through their digital technology investment decisions, to address their needs of a platform ecosystem approach.

The result is a next generation EHR application that stands out for the following 3 key features:

  • A modern IT infrastructure driven by data, to unlock the benefits of data sharing while simultaneously addressing emerging security and compliance concerns. Agile architectures become essential for seamless integration of diverse data sources, given the complex nature of healthcare data integration. A modern infrastructure supports the access to data and the ability to deliver insights at scale that allows EHR systems to enable an integrated care delivery model.
  • Sovereign cloud capabilities, to address concerns around data privacy in different organizational contexts, care settings, and regions. EHR systems need to be compliant with European data privacy, data residency and security regulation and frameworks. EHR vendors are addressing these security concerns, providing the option to deploy their solution in sovereign environments either with their own capabilities or through partners.
  • Advanced data analytics and AI capabilities, to optimize processes and automate clinical workflows in ways that lead to safer and more personalized care, as well as greater operational efficiency. The volume and the variety of data that populate the EHR require advanced technology to better leverage its value. Embedded advanced analytics support providers to benchmark and manage their populations in terms of quality and costs through structured clinical workflows and patient pathways. Integrating AI and more in particular generative AI, enables healthcare professionals to create/ integrate more accurate patients’ history (taking in consideration different clinical data sources, including patient generated data, data from connected medical devices, etc.) and providing order entry suggestions.

The Advantages of Implementing the Next Generation EHRs

Because of the above capabilities, the next generation EHR holds immense potential for renewing the healthcare delivery model, embedding the following key advantages:

  • Improved clinical and operational productivity. The EHR enables centralized access to patient data, seamless information sharing and efficient resource management. As such, it facilitates faster analysis for actionable insights, enhancing decision-making and compressing timeframes.
  • Empowered workforce experience. Embedding automation tools, including AI technologies EHRs alleviate information overload and decision fatigue for clinicians by granting timely access to diagnostic results and patient histories and eventually enhancing clinical decision making.
  • Enhanced patient care and safety. EHRs improve the accuracy of medical records, offering alerts and reminders for best practices and medication management protocols throughout the patient journey, ultimately contributing to reducing the incidence of medical errors.
  • Elevated patient engagement through personalized digital interactions. . By providing patients with easy access to their medical records, the EHR empowers patients to play a more active role in their care. AI can be incorporated into patient-facing services like registration and scheduling to streamline patient interactions further and foster a more empathetic approach to patient care.

To embrace the next generation EHRs and harness the key advantages it can brings to the overall ecosystems, healthcare organizations must:

  • Prepare the foundation to implement an authentic unified platform. EHR systems serve to store the data, synthetize information, learn, and embed insights into every aspect and at any point of care delivery. A new digital architecture, built on a modern infrastructure is critical to effectively collect, integrate, process and deliver information within and outside the organization to drive greater engagement and improved processes. It mitigates risks related to complexity, data privacy compliance pressures and enables the implementation of accurate data governance policies.
    • Enhance the overall data strategy to rely on accurate and truthful dataset.
    • Establish internal governance framework to guide toward an ethic and responsible use of patient data.
    • Implement a change management strategy to involve and educate employees for embracing a new set of skills and capabilities through either hiring, training, or professional services support.
  • Forge strategic partnerships. In the dynamic evolution of the European healthcare ecosystem, ensuring success in EHR projects requires partnering with vendors open to strategic alliances, possessing the capability to seamlessly integrate their solutions into the intricate fabric of the national healthcare system.
    • Prioritize industry expertise vendors, which are committed to privacy, security and transparency.
    • Select the ones that adopt a cautious behavior along with compliant and secure applications.

If you are interested to know more about the next generation EHR how vendors are shaping the competitive market in Europe, please have a look at the IDC MarketScape: Europe EHR vendor assessment 2023-2024.

For any further information please contact Adriana Allocato, Research Manager, or Silvia Piai, Research Director, IDC Health Insights, Europe.

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