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Northwell Health's teaching hospital in New Hyde Park, New York. Photo: Northwell Health

Northwell Health, one of the biggest not-for-profit hospital systems in the country, is planning to develop its own system for electronic medical records, with the ultimate goal of selling the technology to other hospitals and clinics.

Why it matters: Physicians, nurses and others generally dislike most of the existing electronic health record systems. But this is an unusually proactive effort from a hospital system to actually solve those problems.

Where it stands: Most hospitals and physician clinics buy digitized systems from a handful of vendors, primarily Epic and Cerner.

  • Clinicians often say the technology is clunky, involves too much typing and clicking, isn't user-friendly, and makes caring for patients more difficult.
  • "Most of the [electronic health record companies], if not all of them ... haven't really addressed the dissatisfaction that physicians have," John Bosco, Northwell's chief information officer, told Axios.

What's next: Northwell will use an existing Allscripts product called Avenel, which uses artificial intelligence and Microsoft's cloud technology, as the chassis of its new system. Clinicians will then shape how the screens look, how voice assist will work and other details that encumber the current process.

  • Northwell plans to roll out the electronic health record in its physician offices and outpatient settings in the next 12–18 months, and perhaps into its hospitals down the road, Bosco said.
  • He did not disclose how much this would cost, but he said it will be "beyond the tens of millions."
  • The bigger goal is to sell this system to other hospitals and doctors, and "our agreements with Allscripts envision that," Bosco said.

Yes, but: Many physicians have expressed skepticism about AI's potential to change electric health records. Hospital systems also have little to no experience as tech companies.

Go deeper

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Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

11 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.