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September 27, 2017

US Tri-Regulator Collaborative: interoperability EHRs is essential

The seamless transfer of EHR data is essential to the delivery of high-quality health care and to patient safety. In order to overcome lack of interoperability that is a serious concern to practitioners and regulators, steps must be taken to bring uniformity and interoperability to EHRs. Also, knowledge overload and technical innovations are becoming a burden for practitioners in the health sector, leading to more burnouts. More support from stakeholders in healthcare to prevent this is needed. These are important elements in two position statements from the Tri-Regulator Collaborative.

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The Tri-Regulator Collaborative represents the governing boards of the three organizations representing the state boards that license physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and pharmacists:

•    The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB),
•    The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP),
•    The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).

They have drafted and approved two position statements that highlight the organizations’ shared commitment to protecting public health as well as the common issues faced by the three groups.   

More interoperability EHRs needed

The ‘first statement is the ‘Tri-Regulator Collaborative Position Statement on Electronic Health Records (EHRs). It calls for improving interoperability and uniformity of use, declaring that the seamless transfer of this data is essential to the delivery of high-quality health care and to patient safety.

The multiple systems that comprise today’s health care network provide little or no interoperability and present serious concerns for practitioners and regulators. The Collaborative is urging that steps be taken by all stakeholders to bring uniformity and interoperability to EHRs across all practice settings.

Practitioner wellness

In the second statement – ‘Tri-Regulator Collaborative Position Statement on Practitioner Wellness,’ – the Tri-Regulator Collaborative expresses its commitment to identifying and preventing practitioner burnout. Practitioner wellness is a patient safety issue and is increasingly affecting practitioners in the medical, nursing, and pharmacy professions.

Today, knowledge overload, numerous technology innovations, social media pressures, and a rapidly changing practice environment create numerous challenges. More needs to be done to provide practitioners with the wellness strategies and assistance they need to deal with the stress of these challenges, which often leads to practitioner burnout and/or unhealthy responses.

The organizations have also taken a strong position advocating improvements in the nation’s efforts to collect workforce data about health care professionals. The Collaborative strongly supports a more robust national effort to compile evidence-based, comprehensive data and analysis of the health care workforce to ensure our ability to meet the growing needs of patients across the nation.

Common mission

As organizations representing interrelated health care professional licensing and regulatory boards, the organizations of the Tri-Regulator Collaborative share a common mission of both protecting the public and enhancing professionalism in health care. Recognizing the potential benefits to be gained by collaborating more closely to better protect public health, safety, and welfare, the Collaborative meets periodically to discuss issues of mutual concern, exchange ideas, and share resources to better protect patients and improve the quality of care.

Together, these three organizations regulate more than 5 million health care professionals, significantly impacting national health policy. While each organization is autonomous, with its own constituent membership, common values about public protections through state-based licensure unite FSMB, NABP, and NCSBN for dialogue and consensus building.

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