Why hospital EMR is not the key to improving healthcare quality

Sunset Over Haifa 1999 by Itzchak Tarkay

It is evident that, among digital health applications, electronic medical record (EMR) represents the greatest potential for improving healthcare quality.

This is a quote from the Journal of Thoracic Disease — Digital health for COPD care: the current state of play

Let’s take Occam’s razor to this claim.

The article itself says — Clinical evidence of EMR effects on in-hospital care for COPD remains limited. However, for general in-hospital care, the use of EMR has been shown to be beneficial.

This already contradict the claim that EMR represents not only a potential, but the greatest potential for improving healthcare quality.

Consider that when patients are not hospitalized — there is no data on their COPD condition, performance, improvement, degradation and adverse events.

Most of time, COPD patients are not hospitalized.

Ergo — there is no data in the EMR.

Ergo — EMR is not a meaningful data source for digital health.

This is like the joke about asking a bank robber why she robs banks — “Because that’s where the money is”.

Digital health will have the greatest impact on healthcare quality by going to where the data is — at the patient.

I am a physicist by training, serious amateur musician and everyday biker. Working in cybersecurity and AI-driven monitoring of clinical trials.