According to a recent article in HealthcareITNews, "While structured clinical notes in the electronic health record have obvious value, ... research [published] in JAMIA suggests that real-world data captured in unstructured notes offers more accuracy when trained algorithms are used to mine it."
The implications of this study are incredibly important, yet under discussed. The healthcare industry has a data entry problem.
Think about it: while oversimplified a little, ultimately the patient's story tells the narrative better than the version we enter into the EHR as structured data.
I believe the future is bright and we are nearing a turning point where we will be able to spend less time interacting with the EHR, while also collecting better data. Applying emerging technologies to real time communication will be the cornerstone to addressing our data entry problem and improving the quality of our data.