EMR Vanity Metrics

Posted on October 13, 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.

I’m still mulling over my post on EMR and EHR about EMR market share. Add in my mulling over my post about creating an EMR pricing comparison website and my mind is kind of overwhelmed with ways to try and get providers better information.

One of my hobbies is learning about internet startup companies. In fact, I’m starting one of my own. In my reading about internet startup companies I found this really provocative post by Eric Ries about entrepreneur speakers lying on stage. Here’s the money quote for me:

This is the same issue we see with vanity metrics: companies are giving the appearance of sharing information while actually engaging in spin or outright deception.

I call this the vanity ratio: the amount of apparently interesting information given divided by the amount of useful information contained therein. The higher the vanity ratio, the more effective the PR. Unfortunately – also – the more misleading the story is as a help to others.

Of course, since I’d just recently written the post I linked above about EMR market share, I quickly drew the line to EMR vanity metrics. Or as Eric Ries might say it, EMR vendors lying about their market share.

I really don’t know any way to solve this problem since Eric is right that the vanity ratio applies. The higher the vanity ratio, the more effective the PR. I guess the key is to educate providers about the skewed numbers that EMR vendors like to provide. These posts are my effort.