Yesterday I wrapped up a 2 day EHR workshop I taught in Dubai as part of the start of my Fall Healthcare IT conference season. This is the second time I’ve taught the EHR workshop in the middle east and it’s always a great experience for me to learn more about EHR in the middle east. This time we had attendees from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and a few regions of United Arab Emirates (UAE) including Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Plus, this time I was lucky to have the support of Nanette from The Breakaway Group as sponsor for the workshop. It’s always great when a sponsor of a workshop adds to the quality of the workshop for attendees. The Breakaway Group definitely did that for us.
As I think back on the experience, the message that resonates with me most is something Nanette said in the final roundtable discussion part of the workshop. She commented that all of the challenges that attendees were sharing were the same challenges that we face in the US when it comes to EHR and healthcare IT. She commented that she’d already heard all the same challenges before. So, it’s at least nice to know that people around the world are dealing with many of the same challenges.
A simple example of this was one lady in the workshop talked about the ego of many doctors and how that was an enormous challenge for her when it came to implementing the EHR. Those of us in the US can no doubt relate to this challenge. So, we talked in the EHR workshop about how you can use a physician’s ego to your benefit in an EHR implementation. That’s a powerful concept that applies world wide.
So, I certainly echo Nanette’s comments that even though we’re literally half way around the world in Dubai, the challenges associated with implementing and adopting EHR software are largely the same. No doubt there are some different dynamics associated with who pays for the EHR and the benefits gleaned from the EHR here in the Middle East, but the EHR selection and implementation challenges are very much the same.
One other thing I found interesting in this EHR workshop was the diversity of people that attended. We had a number of gentlemen from India who were working on EHR implementations in the UAE. We had a man from Austria that was working on a long term care EHR implementation. We had a gentleman and lady originally from Iraq and Syria that were working on EHR implementations in Saudi Arabia and Dubai. Dubai is certainly a melting pot of so many different cultures and that was reflected in this EHR workshop.
If you follow @ehrandhit on Twitter, then you might have seen my Periscopes from the EHR workshop in Dubai. I was a bit surprised how willing they were to hop on Periscope. They loved the experience and were happy to share their culture with the world. I look forward to the opportunity to come back again.