Re-thinking EHR as med-ed platform

Dr. Jonathan Bertman
Dr. Jonathan Bertman

The number of healthcare providers who use electronic health records has risen thanks to meaningful-use incentives and other factors. These doctors get messaging like drug alerts, boxed warnings and clinical trial availability delivered to their screen. Now, Pri-Med and Amazing Charts want to add customized med ed to that list.

Pri-Med, the med-ed company, announced it was purchasing EHR outfit Amazing Charts in late November. Amazing Charts, which provides EHRs to about 5,600 mostly small medical practices, will become an independent operating subsidiary of Pri-Med. It was founded in 2001 by family physician Dr. Jonathan Bertman. Bertman will continue to serve as president, and Kathleen Repoli as SVP.

“Not only do we need knowledge at the point of care. We need to know where the knowledge gaps are,” said Bertman. “Now my own software can tell me personally, in my own practice, what do I need to do to improve.”

Pri-Med can then, in theory, deliver its med-ed activities where and when decision support is needed. “Our goal is to really give some prescriptive-type tools to clinicians and patients at the point of care, augmented by what we already do,” said Dr. Marc Mosier, chief medical officer, Pri-Med.

The parties also want to be able to assess the patient-level impact of that education. “We're going to be compensated based on how we improve outcomes with patients,” said Bertman, referring to incentives in the Affordable Care Act.

Mosier said few of the other roughly 180 EHRs are exploiting the synergies between CME and EHR. Indeed, said Dr. Steven Waldren, director of the Center for Health IT at the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), in an e-mail, “I have not heard of analysis of the data to suggest specific education. This is one of the future goals of the CDR [clinical data repository] we have been working towards.”
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