The DOP is excited to announce the publication of Dr. Obeid Shafi’s article titled “Defining Electronic Health Record Standards for Child Health: A State-of-the-Art Review” in Applied Clinical Informatics. Co-authored by Dr. Daniel Liu and mentor Dr. Feliciano Yu, the article showcases the work of the Clinical Informatics section, positioning them as leaders shaping the future of Pediatric Health IT.
The Need for Pediatric EHR Standards
The article sheds light on the critical role of EHRs in pediatric care. It reveals a gap where features designed for adults fall short in providing essential functionalities for pediatric care. It underscores the need for specialized “pediatric functions” in the EHR, such as growth tracking, age-based dosing, newborn screening, adolescent confidentiality and privacy, immunization tracking, and school-based linkages. Addressing these gaps becomes essential for minimizing errors and ensuring the seamless delivery of high-quality care to pediatric patients.
Key Findings and Insights
Dr. Shafi’s article presents a comprehensive overview of pediatric EHR standards, focusing on the latest standard, the Health Level Seven Pediatric Care Health IT Functional Profile (HL7 PCHIT FP). This standard addresses critical functionality gaps for patients under 21 years of age, marking a crucial step in meeting pediatric-specific needs. Additionally, Dr. Shafi’s work discusses a pediatric health IT certification program, developed collaboratively with pediatric informaticians at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, aiming to enhance transparency in the pediatric EHR market. Furthermore, the article outlines future directions for improvement, emphasizing the potential of incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered tools, such as Generative AI and Clinical Decision Support systems, to assist in clinical decision-making. This forward-looking approach positions the work not only as a reflection of the current state but also as a guide for the evolution of pediatric healthcare technology. These insights serve as a valuable resource for healthcare professionals, policymakers, and technologists alike, offering a roadmap toward more effective and efficient pediatric care.
Impact on Pediatric Healthcare
The impact of this work is pivotal, intricately guiding our understanding of Pediatric Health IT from the past to the present and future. The emphasis on integrating specialized EHRs in pediatric care supports providers in safeguarding care, reducing errors, improving data accuracy, streamlining communication, and enhancing the continuity of care. As champions for Pediatric Health IT, the authors urge child health stakeholders to actively participate and advocate for continuous improvement in EHR systems supporting pediatric care.
We congratulate Dr. Obeid Shafi, Dr. Daniel Liu, and Dr. Feliciano Yu on this remarkable achievement. Their tireless efforts in researching and advocating for EHR standards in child health have advanced the field and paved the way for improved healthcare outcomes for children nationwide. Dr. Yu, as co-chair of the HL7 EHR Work Group, and UAMS DBMI’s role as a contributing institutional member of HL7 highlights the commitment of UAMS to improve the quality of patient care through health care interoperability standards. We eagerly anticipate the positive impact this work will have on the future of pediatric healthcare.