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Electronic Health Records Not Up To Task

Who: UPI.Com

What: Doctors are changing paper records to electronic health records, but data systems are not sophisticated enough for new types of data, U.S. researchers say. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said as data becomes cheaper and more available to healthcare providers the ability to store large-scale raw data — “big data” — for future reference with patients is critical, and current EHRs are not up to the task.For example, genome sequencing — the complete DNA sequence of an organism’s genome at a single time — can be quite large or approximately 6 billion base pairs in each human diploid genome and to be stored electronically requires a large amount of computing power and storage capacity.”EHRs are designed to facilitate day-to-day patient care,” study author Justin Starren of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine said in a statement. “EHRs are not designed to store large blocks of data that do not require rapid access, nor are they currently capable of integrating genomics clinical decision support.”

Why: Or, Why not? Really, this is more of a non-story. By the time it makes sense to store patients’ entire genomic sequence in their EMR chart or it becomes part of Meaningful Use, the software vendors will figure out a way to do it. Until then, this is a distraction.

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