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EMR-Switching Physicians Demand Mobile EMR Apps

Posted on June 3, 2013 I Written By

Katherine Rourke is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

We already know that many physicians are considering dumping their current EMR, with up to one fifth telling research firm Black Book Rankings that they were considering a switch in 2013. Now,  Black Book says that it’s found a focus for the switch:  that physicians are looking for new EMRs to offer integrated mobile applications as front ends.

Seldom do you see as unanimous a decision as doctors seem to have made in this case. One hundred percent of practices responding to Black Book’s follow-up poll on EMR systems told the researchers that they expect vendors to allow access to patient data wherever physicians are providing or reviewing care, according to the firm’s managing partner Doug Brown.

Not surprisingly, vendors are responding to the upsurge in demand, which has certainly been building for a while. As part of the current survey, 122 vendors told Black Book that they plan to launch fully-functional mobile access and/or iPad-native versions of their EMR products by the end of this year, while another 135 say they have mobile apps on their near-term product roadmap.

Demand for core patient care functionality in mobile EMRs outpaces physicians’ interest in other types of mobile functionality by a considerable margin.

According to Black Book researchers, 8 percent of office-based physicians use a mobile device for electronic prescribing, accessing records, ordering tests or viewing result.  But 83 percent said they would jump on mobile EMR functions to update patient charts, check labs and order medications if their currrent EMR made them available.

When asked what  mobile EMR feature problems need to be addressed, current users of both virtualized and native iPad applications saw the same flaws as being the most important. Ninety-five percent of both groups said that the small screen of a smartphone was the biggest mobile EMR feature problem. Eighty-eight percent said difficulties with easy of movement within the chart was an issue, 83 percent said they wanted a simplified version of the EMR on their mobile screen and 71 percent wanted to see screens optimized for touch use.

For more info on EMR Switching check out this whitepaper called Making the Switch: Replacing Your EHR for More Money and More Control.

EMR Selection Time, Mobile EMR, and Difficult EMR Selection

Posted on May 19, 2013 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.


A prudent investment is an understatement. The very best use of your time in an EMR implementation is in the selection process. Although, I’ve also seen some clinics go too far and run into the issue called “paradox of choice.”


Mobile EMR has always been a wonderful idea, but how many are really using their EMR on a mobile device. Let’s also not confuse mobile EMR with remote EMR. Certainly many doctors are using the same EMR from multiple clinics. That’s common and beautiful. However, far fewer are using their EMR on a mobile device. The most common response I get from doctors about a mobile EMR is “I can access my EMR on a mobile device, but the experience is terrible.” I expect this will dramatically change over the next 3-5 years, but won’t likely be the full EMR. Instead, I think it will be a really focused set of EMR functions on the mobile device. I’m not sure anyone has nailed that experience yet. Although, a lot of EMR vendors are working on it.


Everyone that’s read this site for a while knows how much I love analogies. Both of these are pretty spot on. The root canal is necessary and can relieve a lot of long term pain, but it’s no fun going through the process. Buying a car is hard because there are so many choices and so many details that it’s hard to know what really differentiates the complex item you want to buy.

EMR Landmine, Mobile EMR Access, and Patient Advocates

Posted on August 5, 2012 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.

While it seems that many people are coming out with distaste for the Olympics, I am still on the side of enjoying the Olympics thoroughly. I’ve watched as much of the coverage as possible. What can I say, I’m a sucker for pretty much any sporting event. I hope everyone else has been getting as much joy out of the Olympics as I have gotten, but I digress.

As you know, each week I take a quick look at some interesting tweets that have been posted around the EMR, EHR and Healthcare IT twittersphere. Plus, I’ll add a little commentary that will hopefully start some interesting conversations and help you as a reader.


What a perfect way to describe the issue: an EHR Landmine. Jane Shuman is exactly right too. In fact, a local doctor recently told me the same thing. The challenge of checking and re-checking patient information from a previous patient visit is a huge problem waiting to happen. I think the doctor I talked to said that EMR perpetuates mistakes. It’s so true. I wonder what other EMR landmines are out there.


My readers agree with Melissa. As long as the iPad is a native iPad app and not just some remote desktop access to EMR software that isn’t optimized for a tablet environment.


You have to love Regina Holliday. A tireless patient advocate. Years down the road I hope that Regina will be able to stop her patient advocacy. Not because she gets tired of doing it, but because we embrace the patient in healthcare.

A Ring Around the EHR and Health IT Twittersphere

Posted on March 11, 2012 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.

One challenge that many bloggers face is creating good titles for all of their posts. I usually don’t have too much problem creating one. Although, I have to admit that when I do my weekend Twitter round ups, I often do have a problem coming up with a title. I don’t like them all to be essentially the same. Maybe I’ll just do the top two stories in the title in the future and then say and more… I mostly mention that because of the creative title above.

Ok, enough discussion of blog titles. Let’s get to the meat of the tweets that I found. A number of these are really substantial pieces of news. So, take a look and enjoy.


I’m sure many might be wondering why this is in an EMR and health IT roundup. The EMR mentioned in the tweet is not electronic medical record. However, if you love tech, you’ll be amazed at that post. It’s such a great illustration of how what Amazon is doing with EC2 and their other “cloud” services is going to continue lowering the costs for so many internet services.

I like to think about it this way. How many servers are running at maximum capacity all the time? The answer is none of them. In fact, many of them often use some small percentage of what that server could process. So, that means there’s a lot of wasted processing power on servers. I think services like Amazon EC2 create such an interesting model since they have so many fewer wasted resources.


Yes, this is a survey by CDW healthcare, but that’s a pretty strong number regardless of who is doing the survey.


I’ve become more and more annoyed by the way our current payment system causes so many perverse incentives. It really makes me want to find ways to change the system.


It could be the most overlooked. Although, the question we should be asking is why is it overlooked? I think the answer is that it’s not an easy thing to understand during the selection process.


Nice job by Neil of covering Epocrates selling their EHR software. This is BIG news. Sure we could argue that Epocrates didn’t have the DNA in their company to build and sell EHR. However, this should be a cautionary tale for other EHR vendors trying to enter the market. Of course, entrepreneurs will ignore this caution and enter anyway. That’s why I love entrepreneurship.


This story was passed around on Twitter all week this last week. It probably deserves more than a tweet at the end of a Twitter round up. This is a great story about an iPad EMR saving a life, but it’s also a great story about patient information being available in emergent situations. I’ve met a number of companies that are working on this problem (including My Crisis Records who advertises on one of my sites). I think over the next 5 years we’re going to see a really dramatic change in how an emergency responder addresses a medical situation. I look forward to that day. I believe information is power and I think we can do a lot better getting them the information that will make them more powerful.

The iPad Opportunity – A Decent EMR Interface

Posted on November 4, 2011 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.

Yesterday, I created a post on EMR & EHR called The Must Have EMR Feature – An iPad Interface. that post has driven quite a bit of discussion on Twitter and Google Plus. One comment from @2charlie hit me the most though:

2charlie – Charlie Gaddy
A decent web interface wouldn’t hurt either. RT @ehrandhit: The Must Have EMR Feature – An iPad Interface dlvr.it/tYkN7

Charlie’s twitter response highlights a number of interesting ideas. The first point that every SaaS EHR company will point out is that he said a web interface. We could go into the semantics of what is “the web”, but I have little doubt that Charlie meant a browser based interface when he said web. I’ll leave the rest of the discussion of “web” EMR interfaces for another post (plus, we’ve had that discussion many times on this site).

Instead, I want to focus on his use of the word “decent.” That adjective is interesting because no one would really argue that there aren’t plenty of web EMR interfaces out there. If you look at the EHR Scope EMR Comparison site, you’ll see a huge number of web based EMR companies listed. However, when you add the word “decent” to web EMR interface, I think we could have some really interesting discussion.

At least a couple times a week I get a doctor sending me an email or posting a comment on my website saying that “all of the EMR interfaces are terrible.” I don’t necessarily agree that “all” EMR interfaces are terrible, but a lot of them do fit the description quite well. I’m sure at this point all the EMR companies are thinking about their competitors and agreeing with me.

The iPad Opportunity for EMR Interfaces
As I thought on Charlie’s comment of a “decent web interface” as compared with an iPad EMR interface, I realized that the iPad provides a unique opportunity for EMR vendors with less than stellar web interfaces. While it would be great for EMR vendors to create stellar web interfaces or improve their current web interfaces, that’s much easier said than done. Many are working on older technologies. Others have so much company culture built into their interface that it’s hard to change. Many have large user bases that will freak out at the idea of a new web interface. Etc etc etc! The point being that the culture and history of many EMR interfaces make it hard to change.

In these cases, I see the iPad as a great opportunity to start fresh with your EMR interface. Many EHR vendors could use the iPad as a way to be able to create a new interface for their EMR with all the knowledge they’ve learned over the years baked in. Doctors expect the iPad interface to be different and unique.

I’ll be interested to see which EMR companies take this opportunity and make something of it. It’s the perfect chance for EMR companies to create a paradigm shift in their EMR software without having to admit publicly the mistakes they made in their first EMR interface. Unless you happen to be from an EHR company who built the perfect EMR interface from the start. Then, this need not apply.

Random Thoughts: EMR Projects Decentralized; Problems Persist Despite ‘Solutions’

Posted on August 4, 2011 I Written By

Once in a while, I run out of Big Ideas to share and resort to a rundown of short items. This is one of those times. Often, though, that approach turns out to be more interesting than a well-thought-out commentary. (Thus, the popularity of Twitter, right?)

Speaking of Big Ideas, I’m thinking that the age of the massive EMR project may be coming to an end. You may have seen my piece in InformationWeek today about the reported end of the national EMR in England. London’s The Independent reported earlier this week that the Cameron government will announce next month that it will scrap the national strategy in favor of allowing local hospitals and trusts to make independent EMR purchasing and implementation decisions.

This news comes on the heels of a decision by the government of Ontario to give up on hopes for a single EMR for all of Canada’s most populous province.

On the other hand, here in the States, we’ve seen a lot of consolidation among healthcare providers, but I’m guessing that has more to do with administrative Accountable Care Organizations and the prospect of bundled payments than any desire to build a more unified EMR. Though, consolidation does make health information exchange somewhat easier, and that’s going to be key to earning “meaningful use” dollars beyond 2013.

On a somewhat similar note, doesn’t a headline like, “Positive Outlook for Small Practice EHR Adoption” sound like a no-brainer? I mean, isn’t that the segment of healthcare providers that historically has had the slowest adoption rates? More than anyone else, small practices—particularly small, primary care practices—are the intended target of the federal EHR incentive program. And most of the news from health IT vendors of late has been about how they are going after this long-neglected market, right? The innovation seems to be happening in ambulatory EMRs, as evidenced by DrChrono’s newly certified iPad EHR app, aimed squarely at independent physicians.

That said, vendors and publicists, please do not start inundating me with news about other EHRs getting certified. There are hundreds of certified products out there now, and I cannot and will not write about, oh, about 95 percent of them.

While you’re at it, please stop using the word “solution” as a synonym for “product” or “service.” Tech journalists hate this trite, lazy and, frankly, inaccurate term so much that I’ve been instructed by the editors of InformationWeek not to use it, except in direct quotes. In fact, I get reminded not to use it pretty much every time I’m forwarded a press release laden with news about someone’s “solution.” Solution to what? I’ve been seeing that term since I started covering health IT more than a decade ago, and I still don’t see much getting solved in healthcare. With all the “solutions” out there, you’d think that healthcare had been fixed by now.

I could get a whole lot more curmudgeonly on you, but I think I’ll stop now and await your comments.

 

HIMSS11 Thoughts – Day 2

Posted on February 21, 2011 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.

Hopefully none of you were expecting Meaningful Use Mondays. We’re taking the week off thanks to HIMSS, but there will certainly be some meaningful use discussion in my day 2 experience at HIMSS11.

I must admit that my morning was a little disappointing. I’d wanted to see Reich speak, but it ended up being too early for me. So, I followed what he said on Twitter. I’m afraid to say that following it on Twitter might possibly have been better than being there. There’s something really cool about the Twitter back channel conversation at a conference.

I was excited to go to the session Dr. No: The Response to HITECH, but it was a dud for me. Maybe it means I’m just too involved with the HITECH act that she didn’t offer me much to chew on. Plus, the presentation was pretty dry and flat. Oh well, at least I could enjoy the interesting Twitter chatter about the social media session by Mayo Clinic. Makes sense that Twitter would go wild during a social media session.

Next I attended the HIT X.0 presentation with John Glaser and Aneesh Chopra. Aneesh brought the rock star energy like usual, but John Glaser was pretty terribly boring. It’s not a good sign when the most memorable part of their presentation was Aneesh calling him Johnny G. I also was glad that they had the Twitter comments on screen. Too bad they were too strict with the filter of it, but baby steps.

Lots of interesting content from my meeting with GE healthcare. I loved how organized and professional they were about it all. Plus, their government liaison made an interesting comment about how the time frame for delivering meaningful use stage 2 details (Summer 2012 I think) and when hospitals need to show meaningful use stage 2 (October 2012 I think) is too compressed.

I also got a chance to look at the GE Centricity Advance iPad app. They’re following the same iPad EMR strategy I suggested previously where you only implement a subset of the EMR functionality on the iPad and as native iPad app that maximizes the iPad interface. I see most EMR vendors doing the same.

I had a very interesting chat with Jonathan Bush from Athena Health. I was excited to meet with him since you never know what’s going to come out of his mouth. I took a video of him where I did a “Tell me something I don’t know” with the most common HIMSS buzzwords. Once I get home, I’ll upload the video and post it on the blog.

After that I met with Rohit Nayak, from MedPlus (Quest Diagnostic’s EMR company that offers the Care360 EMR). Another day I’ll do a post to talk more about the Care360 positioning and what makes them unique. It’s really fascinating to see how a lab company is attacking the EMR market. It’s pretty unique.

Care360 recently made an announcement about Care360’s participation with Microsoft HealthVault and the Direct Project. Aneesh actually made the prediction in the session mentioned earlier that by the end of 2012 80% of doctors will have a direct project address. Rohit agreed that it was possible and that Care360 would be playing a major part. He even said that Aneesh was considering a leaderboard for which company assigns the most direct project addresses. I’d be very interested to see that happen. It’s amazing how having your name on a leaderboard will motivate companies.

After this I met with a whole set of people from Henry Schein (which offers the MicroMD EMR). The dynamics of a large successful company with an EMR division (similar to Quest) I find really interesting. Plus, Henry Schein has had their Practice Management software for a long time (14,000 PMS users).

I was impressed by MicroMD’s approach to marketing their software. They acknowledged that it’s hard to be all things for every type of potential EMR user. So, they’re all about focusing on those specialties where their EHR fits well.

I was interested in how they were approaching meaningful use. Similar to how they’ve done ePrescribing tracking, they’re meaningful use certified EHR will be reporting back how many of their users are meeting the meaningful use requirements. I’m hopeful that once they start collecting this information in full, that they’ll share that information on here. They sounded open to the idea. It would be quite interesting to know which meaningful use measures doctors were generally finding hard to meet.

I already wrote about my time at the MTIA name change. Go and read it if you’re someone that transcription is dead.

Then, off to HIStalkapalooza. I was actually surprised that the event was pretty empty. Much nicer than last year where you basically couldn’t move. Plus, it was great to see the ESD people and see them get featured for their great set of shoes. They also loved the special ESD HIMSS top 10 shirt I was wearing. It was perfect for the event. Here’s what was on the shirt:

The Top 10 REAL Reasons I’m at HIMSS Orlando:
#10 Disney World totally beats Coke World.
#9 Orlando won’t have snow like Atlanta did last year.
#8 ESD’s plantable seed card which turned into a real dill plany for ccooking. The swag that keeps on giving!
#7 I’m secretly hoping Colbie Calliat will do an encore performance this year.
#6 I need to walk off those holiday cookies.
#5 I hope I get scanned by the RFID devices and magically transported to a tropical island.
#4 Booth Babes!
#3 Can you say parties?
#2 I’m just here for the food.
And the #1 reason….Anything for the EMRandHIPAA.com fan girls.
Enterprise Software Deployment – We Implement IT

I thought about going to a couple other events, but just opted to come back and write a few blog posts. Lots lots more planned tomorrow. Be sure to find me at HIMSS tomorrow so you can win a free HD TV.

EMRandHIPAA.com’s HIMSS11 coverage is sponsored by Practice Fusion, provider of the free, web-based Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system used by over 70,000 healthcare providers in the US.

iPad EMR

Posted on April 8, 2010 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.

EMR and EHR has been getting a ton of traffic related to my posts on the iPad EMR. It’s a really interesting discussion that I think people that love technology and EMR will enjoy. I have no doubt that the interface that the iPad is helping to promote and develop is going to have a major impact on healthcare. Not that everyone will have an iPad in healthcare, but that the technology behind it will be copied and we’ll see lots of interesting documentation methods for EMR software.

Dr. Larry Nathanson, MD from BIDMC seems to disagree with me in his writeup about his experience using the iPad in an Emergency Room. However, what I found most interesting about his writeup is his comments about the challenges of the iPad.

The first was how well it will hold up in a clinical environment. The iPad doesn’t seem to be the most rugged device and clinics like to abuse devices (from my experience). The second was the challenge that plagues all tablets: difficulty entering strong passwords. between the numbers, symbols and mixed case, it’s harder to enter these passwords on a device like the iPad. Is biometrics the solution to that?

What do you all think about the iPad and EMR? Will we see an iPad only EMR develop into a real power player in the industry?