Electronic health records and the shifting healthcare landscape


Last week, I gave a speech at the PharmEHR Summit in Philadelphia about how GSK sees healthcare evolving and how we see electronic health records fitting into that shifting landscape. I also touched on how we are adapting our business to take advantage of the opportunities we see in this ever-changing marketplace.

The bottom line is that we see great potential for EHRs to complement and strengthen the work we do every day to improve patient health. And that goal--improving patient health--is the foundation of our work at GSK.

We think the continued development and adoption of electronic health records will be essential if we are to be successful in improving how care is delivered and paid for in the United States. We see EHRs as critical to improving the use of evidence-based medicine and treatment guidelines, to coordinating care, to measuring quality and in shifting to a healthcare system based on value, not volume.

Just improving adherence to clinical guidelines could drive real improvements in care. Today, a typical patient in the US receives evidence-based medical treatment only 50% of the time. If we could increase that by half, just think about the benefit to patients.

We all know that the healthcare environment is evolving rapidly. Providers, patients and payers all want more affordable, accessible and higher quality care.

Those are GSK's goals, as well. In fact, for some time now, we have advocated for healthcare based on prevention, appropriate intervention, and continued innovation, particularly with a focus on chronic diseases, to improve health and rein in costs.

I believe further progress against chronic disease can be made if we apply EHRs to appropriately capture, share, and use health information.  Not only will electronic health records help improve prevention and treatment of disease, but they will be helpful in supporting innovation by providing data about the delivery and payment for care in diverse settings and among different patient populations.

EHRs' promise is a more informed, connected and effective healthcare system, all of us will need to work together to make changes in what we do and how we do it.