EMR Implementation and Pregnancy

Posted on March 9, 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.

When writing one of my previous posts about EMR implementation, I realized that it’s a lot like being pregnant. Maybe I just have pregnancy on the mind since my wife and I just went to the ultrasound for my 3rd child (It’s a boy), but hear me out.

Anyone who’s seen someone in labor is familiar with the pain of pregnancy. It was no different for my wife giving birth to our first child. About the time she was dilated to a 4 she was in so much pain that all she could not even talk to me and writhing in pain in the fetal position. I’d never seen my wife in so much pain and hope to never see her that way again. Thanks to the modern marvel we call an epidural, the pain my wife was experiencing was almost wiped away for the rest of the pregnancy.

The funny part is that about 1-2 weeks after giving birth, my wife and I were sitting around talking to her parents. My wife then proceeds to tell her parents, “I wasn’t in that much pain. I think that I could have easily given birth without the epidural.” I almost immediately break out in an enormous and uncontrollable laughter. My wife gave me one of those looks, and then said, “Ok, maybe I couldn’t have.”

I honestly couldn’t believe how quickly she’d forgotten how painful it had been for her to give birth. This was only 1-2 weeks later and the pains of pregnancy had all but disappeared.

The comparison to EMR is pretty obvious. I don’t know a single person who implemented an EMR in their office that didn’t experience pains, annoyances and frustration in the process of implementing an EMR. Making the change to EMR from a paper chart is complicated and challenging. I know it was a major challenge and often painful process for my clinic.

What’s amazing is that 4 years later I can barely remember the pains of the implementation. Every once in a while I’ll stumble upon something that will remind me of what it was like when we first implemented, but for the most part the challenges we experienced are a distant memory.

Looking back now, I know my wife was more than happy to go through the pain of child birth so we can enjoy the benefits of our son in our life. I feel the same way about my EMR implementation. The pains of EMR implementation are worth the benefits of having in EMR in our clinic.