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How early adoption of electronic medical records is hurting now


Norway has an admirable track record as one of the first, and leading, adopters of electronic medical records in the world. Being an early adopter does have potential disadvantages, and today the technology Norway started adopting from the 1980s is dated, and is slowing efforts to get the most out of physicians and maximize positive healthcare and patient experience outcomes. The technology needs an overhaul with intelligent capabilities that provide automated and interactive services to both healthcare professionals and patients.

Accenture has conducted research among healthcare professionals in Norway that indicates while electronic medical record (EMR) systems are positively perceived by both primary and secondary care providers, a switch to new systems would have to be predicated upon improved integration between EMR and medical practice systems—to ensure the switch provides worthwhile benefits.


Doctors have identified challenges in four areas:

  • Data silos prevent effective care

  • System response delays lead to frustrations

  • Built-in intelligence is missing

  • Information loss is frequent

A three-pronged approach is required to address these challenges:

  • Infrastructure must be improved to be scalable and include intuitive interfaces and analytics-based alerts and recommendations.

  • GP systems must be integrated with hospital systems to facilitate seamless continuity of care to save time, avoid unnecessary duplication and improve the patient experience.

  • EMR providers must up their service levels using service level agreements and built in redundancy. This will allow providers to focus on care.

These fundamental changes can help provide doctors with the intelligent, automated functionality needed to improve care in terms of both speed and quality.