An Information Paradigm Shift is Required to Realize EHR Benefits

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This is a review of an article by Hovenga et al, Creating An Information Paradigm Shift is Required to Realize EHR Benefits [1]


Current healthcare information systems which deliver minimal benefits rather than an integrated raft of positive outcomes is not sustainable despite the fact that information technology is increasingly used. This is in part due to existing systems are dedicated to singular purposes rather than suited for the data continuum.


The authors applied a range of information gathering methodologies including literature review, participation in, and interviews with key experienced eHealth standards developers and implementers.


A nationally shared standard information model that represents clinically valid ontology based concepts is a key to achieve sustainability. The relationship between information model, concept representation and systems architecture needs to be better understood. Existing knowledge needs to be converted into computational format. There is a need to incorporate more courses in health workforce education to address the knowledge and skill gap so as to develop better healthcare systems.


This study emphasizes the fact that current healthcare information systems are fragile focusing on immediate medical needs while ignoring global architecture design, making the system performance sub-optimal. The authors call for a unified approach to develop sustainable EHRs where local implementation is simply a beginning representation of a significant component of a much bigger system.


  1. Hovenga, E., & Grain, H. (2015, August). An Information Paradigm Shift is Required to Realize EHR Benefits. In MEDINFO 2015: EHealth-enabled Health: Proceedings of the 15th World Congress on Health and Biomedical Informatics (Vol. 216, p. 26). IOS Press.