Jabba the Hutt EHRs Are Alive And Well

Posted on June 19, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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.

If you follow @ehrandhit on Twitter, then you might have noticed that we’ve set it up to tweet out links to articles from Healthcare Scene’s database of 11,000+ blog posts. Sometimes I see these tweets and I remember amazing posts like the one I saw today about Jabba the Hutt EMR.

Here’s the concept of the Jabba the Hutt EMR as I described it back in 2011:

Many long time readers of EMR and HIPAA will know I like to call big, bulky, old EMR software systems, Jabba the Hutt EMR. I think comparing these old legacy EMR software to Jabba the Hutt is a great comparison. For those that don’t know Star Wars that well (and I’m no expert), Jabba the Hutt was a very powerful figure. Although, over time he’d grown so big that he wasn’t very nimble (to say the least). So, despite his power and prestige, there was little to admire about him.

Does that sound a bit like some legacy EMR software? They’re big and powerful figures in the industry. However, their software has grown to the point that it’s clunky and not very nimble. Getting something changed on it is difficult and it’s built on a platform that makes it hard to add new features. Thus, they are Jabba the Hutt EMR.

I love that I had “long time readers” in 2011, but I digress. Does this still sound like a lot of the EHR vendors out there? The cynic might suggest it’s every EHR vendor. Good thing I’m not cynical.

In that post I went on to list things that might be characteristics you could look for to identify the Jabba the Hutt EMR software. It has some good ones, but I think it’s time to update the list. Here’s an updated list that you might find beneficial (and a little entertaining).

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
you’re part of every interoperability organization, but not actually interoperable.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
it costs as much for consultants to implement your software as your software.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
you hard coded 16 RXNorm codes to pass certification.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
you EHR certification is your EHR innovation plan.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
your programmers have never spent time in a clinic or hospital observing users.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
you’re afraid to talk to the media.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
your patient portal is your patient engagement strategy.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
HL7 and FHIR are your API strategy.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
you put AI and machine learning in a press release after implementing basic slicing and dicing analytics.

As I said in 2011, the more of these your EHR has, the more likely they’re a Jabba the Hutt EHR. I’m sure many of you could add to the list. Please do so in the comments.