The Real Long Term Benefits of Broad EMR Adoption

Posted on January 30, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Do we really know the true benefits of EMR or can we not find them out until we have them implemented?

This is a question which has been on my mind a lot lately as I’ve been reading and writing about Obama and EMR.  There have been so many different studies describing the effectiveness of electronic medical records.  Some show the amazing benefits of an EMR.  Others have shown that electronic medical records aren’t everything we hoped they’d be.

As I think about these two differing opinions, I can’t help but think that we probably don’t know the benefits that can come from having broad EMR adoption.

Certainly many studies and those interested in EMR have evaluated the fiscal and clinical benefits of an EMR.  I just can’t help but wonder if we won’t be able to understand and measure the benefits of EMR until broad EMR adoption occurs.

Just think of a few simple things we could do so much better with aggregating EMR data:

  • Disease Tracking and Outbreaks
  • Drug Effectiveness
  • Drug Side Effects
  • Health Trends
  • Detialed Past Family/Medical History

I’m sure this list is inadequate in expressing my feeling that a broad adoption of EMR will open up a world of data that was previously stuck in the depths of a paper chart.