EHSD – EHR Hunt Stress Disorder

Posted on May 10, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Dr. Gregg wrote an interesting post recently about what he called EHSD (EHR Hunt Stress Disorder). He does such a great job defining the funk, I’ll let his words speak for themselves.

Since I first broke the news about Allscripts’ sunsetting of my current EHR (Peak Practice) about a year and a half ago, I have developed a severe case of a newly defined malady: EHR Hunt Stress Disorder (EHSD). I am worn down, drug out, and generally pooped. I can’t figure anymore re: local host versus cloud versus disruptor / innovator versus corporate clout versus Quippe-able versus app-able versus templates versus NLP versus digital pens versus etc., etc., etc. I just can’t. I’m done.

I have seen a slew of systems — some great, some not so much. I’ve seen apps and clouds and cool tech. I’ve even had some had offers to work with some vendors. But, in trying to decide, I think I have run headlong into The Paradox of Choice wall. Too many options have led me to the paralyzingly dissatisfactional funk of EHSD. Can’t find that “just right” one.

I’ve seen this so many times. Sometimes it goes to outrageous extremes that you almost have to just laugh at the situation. I think the core of the problem is the 600+ EHR companies that are all vying for the physician’s attention. It’s an incredible challenge for physicians to sift through all the EHR noise.

One thing that I don’t think many people want to admit is that every practice could probably select a dozen or more different EHR software and be quite satisfied. Each of those dozen EHR software would have their own intricacies, annoyances and benefits, but they all would deliver some benefit to the practice. On the opposite end, there are at least some clinics who could select any of the 600 EHR vendors and have a terrible experience. Luckily, I believe this is the minority of clinics. Most clinics I know could find benefit from any 1 of a dozen EHR.

The challenge is that the dozen EHR that could provide benefit to a practice is different for every practice. The list of good EHR for a pediatric practice is different than for a OB/GYN or Family Practice Doc. The list of good EHR is different for a solo practice versus a large group practice or multi specialty group. The list of good EHR could be different for someone in California versus Ohio. You get the idea.

My best suggestion I first gave back in 2006 when I started blogging about EMR (The EHR term wasn’t in use back then). It is to quickly narrow your EHR selection to 5 EHR vendors. This will let you focus on 5 EHR and study them in depth. This doesn’t mean that you HAVE to select one of those 5 EHR. You can always add more later if you’re not satisfied with your first 5 EHR, but it gives you something manageable.

Just remember that the goal is to find an EHR that benefits your practice, not finding the perfect EHR. Setting reasonable expectations is a key to avoiding EHSD.