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EHSD – EHR Hunt Stress Disorder

Posted on May 10, 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.

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.

EMR Stimulus Question and Answer: What if my EMR Vendor Doesn’t Certify?

Posted on December 2, 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.

Pamela sent me the following EMR stimulus question in response to my post about Doctor’s having no choice with meaningful use:

Can we show meaningful use without a certified EMR or would we still be penalized since our EMR vendor has no intention on becoming certified?

The current HITECH law requires meaningful use of a certified EHR. So, you have to use a certified EHR to get the EMR stimulus money and to avoid the Medicare penalties. They have been looking at doing site certifications so you could show that you’ve put together everything to satisfy the certified EHR portion. However, so far I’ve only seen the site certification really apply to hospitals. I haven’t seen a site certification for smaller doctors offices (yet?).

Just be aware that some are suggesting that the penalties will never be imposed. Basically, they say that ONC will just keep delaying those penalties for one reason or another and that they’ll never actually be enforced. Plus, don’t be surprised if they make exceptions for certain medical specialties. For example, if not a single chiropractor (or some small number) shows meaningful use of a certified EHR, then it seems reasonable that ONC could look at making an exception for those specialty groups.

It’s also worth taking a look at this post I did which gave an example of the EMR stimulus Medicare penalties. They don’t amount to as much as you’d think.

I imagine we’ll see quite a few faced with this situation. This will become even bigger when some EMR vendors decide to deal with meaningful use stage 1, but choose not to prepare for meaningful use stage 2. Allscripts will be doing this with their now sunsetted EMR acquisition, Peak Practice. Basically, they’re going to make it work for meaningful use stage 1, but then users will have to switch to a different Allscripts EMR for meaningful use stage 2. That will make for a tough decision for someone who has to switch EMR software to get more stimulus money and avoid the penalties.

I have a strong feeling that EMR and HIPAA is going to make a switch from talking about selecting and implementing EMR to switching EMR software over the next 5 or so years. Not a fun subject for providers to consider, but many are actually doing it now.