I always love to hear clinics talk about the challenges they face in implementing an EMR. For the most part, they are completely predictable. Especially when it comes to the small versus large clinic challenges.
For example, small clinics will complain that they don’t have the resources that large clinics have to implement an EMR. Large clinics will complain that they have too much bureaucracy, red tape and stakeholders that they have to get on board an EMR implementation. They wish they were like smaller clinics who could quickly make decisions and had a much more focused need.
Of course, the reality is that both of these point of views are accurate. It’s not news that small clinics can make decisions easier and that larger clinics have more resources at their disposal. Certainly a generalization, but the reason it’s a generalization is because it’s generally true.
Since both small clinics and large clinics both face major challenges of resources and red tape respectively, then how does any clinic get over them and implement an EMR? Let’s be honest, it’s really more a matter of the priority EMR is given than anything else. So far many doctors offices haven’t decided to make their EMR implementation a priority. Once a clinic makes EMR a priority, it’s really quite amazing to see what happens.
The good news is that for many clinics, the EMR stimulus money has changed this fact and bumped EMR adoption up on their priority list. Plus, in the 4+ years I’ve been writing about EMR software, EMR software has come a really long way. Sure, they still have a ways to go, but the EMR software of today is much improved and can provide some real value to a clinic if implemented correctly.
It’s time to address the excuses for why you can’t do an EMR and start focusing on the benefits you can receive from an EMR. Notice I didn’t say “ignore” or “hide” the excuses. We need to address the excuses people are giving and see what benefits you might be missing because you’re not using an EMR. I know very very few people who use an EMR and would ever want to go back to paper. There’s a reason for this.