Free EMR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to EMR and HIPAA for FREE!!

The False Economies of EMR

Posted on January 2, 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.

In my recent look around the EMR twittersphere on EMR & EHR, I briefly commented on the challenges of choosing the wrong EMR and EMR Switching. Dan Haley from athenaHealth asked for some deeper clarification of my comment, “I’d say the biggest driver of EMR switching is thanks to the EHR incentive money and meaningful use.”

Here was my response:

I think there are a whole list of things in the HITECH act which encourage and promote the use of outdated technologies. I’m sure this is something you agree with and know all about as well.

My core argument has been, sure we’re seeing an increase in EHR adoption. However, what if the EHR incentive money is incentivizing doctors to adopt the wrong EHR. By wrong EHR I mean one that they don’t like, that can’t adapt to changing technology, that can’t support the future Smart EMR requirements that are bound to come, that kill a physician’s workflow, that cause a doctor to not want to be a doctor, etc.

I think we may be headed this direction and the number of doctors switching EHR software is a decent example of why this is the case. I’m sure that some would argue that meaningful use is driving people to switch EHR software and that the switch we’re seeing happening is from EHR software that isn’t highly functional to EHR software that is highly functional.

While this argument is true in some cases, there are just as many cases which illustrate that the EHR switching was because their first MU EHR was such a terrible experience that they had to switch EHR. Plus, we’re just at the start of this. Many are painfully grinding through the day to day with an EHR they hate. Wait until that explodes.

Even worse is those clinics that are switching EHR for the sake of EHR incentive money and go from an EHR they enjoy to one they hate. Add in the many doctors who are stuck using an EHR that was selected by some large company who didn’t worry too much about the physician needs and we’re in for a crazy next couple years.

Hopefully this gives you a better idea where my comment was coming from. Needless to say, I’m not sure that HITECH has been a benefit to doctors. The short term numbers might look good, but it might have just created some painful underlying difficulties going forward.

With all of this said, there are some beautiful EHRs out there that make doctors lives better. I’m pro-EHR when it’s done right. I just don’t see meaningful use and EHR incentive promoting the right EHR adoption methods.

This provided some interesting background for a conversation I had recently with a doctor. He told me, “It seems like there are a number of false economies driving EMR adoption.

I think meaningful use and EHR incentive money driving EHR adoption is a false economy. This doctor described to me how many of his colleagues weren’t using the EHR that they wanted, but instead were using an EHR that they “had” to use. What are some of the forced requirements for EHR that create these false economies besides meaningful use and EHR incentive money?

Another False EMR economy is around HIE connections. Many doctors can’t select the EHR they want to use and fits their workflows best because their local HIE may or may not choose to support a connection with that EHR. So, the doctor opts for an EHR that does connect with the local HIE even though it wasn’t their EHR choice.

Hospital Connections is another false economy. Similar to an HIE, many doctors will opt for what they consider to be a less than desirable EHR because it’s the one that works with their local hospitals.

I’m not trying to pretend that doctors should be the end all be all in EHR selection. A physician can think one EHR is the best and not realize until after using it that another EHR would have been better. Sometimes you think you have a great EHR until you actually use another one and realize what you’re missing. However, the easiest recipe for disaster with EHR is for a doctor to hate using an EHR. As I mention above, it will not end well and will drive the future EMR switching that I’ve predicted.

My Favorite Smart Phone Healthcare Posts of 2012

Posted on I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Since it’s the end of 2012, I thought it would be fitting to put  the links to some of my favorite posts I wrote this last year. Did you have a favorite one? Or is there something you’d like me to talk about this next year? Happy New Year!

1. 5 Must-Have Medical Apps for Medical Students

Because this post appears to be one of the most popular of all-time here at Smart Phone Healthcare, it tops my list. I didn’t realize what a big demand there was for information on apps for medical students. I’m sure even more great apps have come out since I wrote this post, so look for an updated one in the near future.

2. My First (Actual) Experience With A Patient Portal

Over the past several months, I have learned a lot about healthcare and mHealth. During that time, I have heard and read lots of articles and information about patient portals. However, it wasn’t until just a month or so ago that I actually had the opportunity to use one myself. This post recounts that experience using the patient portal my son’s pediatrician’s office uses, powered by eClinical Works.

3. Phreesia Makes Going to the Doctor Easier

After visiting the urgent care a few weeks ago, I discovered how the office I went to was really implementing portable devices into their practice. I was so excited about the process, that I just had to write a post about it. I think that every doctor, emergency room, and urgent care center should use some thing like Phreesia.

4. New Friend Request . . . From the Family Doctor?

Just some of my thoughts about doctors and practices using social media to connect with patients. For some, it might be overstepping the patient/doctor boundaries, but I think it’s great to see doctors getting more involved with patients.

5. Does Access to the Internet at All Times Make Us Hypochondriacs?

Yes, yes it does. At least I think so. How many of us have looked up symptoms online, and convinced themselves that they have some kind of terrible disease? I’m guessing a large majority. Having constant access to the Internet through tablets and smart phones may just increase the number of people doing that.

6. Must Have Pregnancy Mobile Apps

This was my first post here on Smart Phone HC, so of course I had to put it on the list! I really enjoyed writing this post, mainly because pregnancy was something that was on my mind, since I had given birth only a few months before. I think that any woman (or sympathetic man) could really benefit from this post.

Happy New Year! EMR and HIPAA Stats Report

Posted on 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.

Happy New Year to everyone!

I hope that everyone has had a safe and wonderful holiday season. Mine has been better than expected. I had a wonderful 2012 and I’m looking forward to an even better 2013.

I got a report that had some interesting stats related to EMR and HIPAA for 2012 that I thought I’d share.

In 2012, there were 283 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1,068 posts.

EMR and HIPAA was viewed about 1,800,000 times in 2012

The busiest day of the year was January 26th with 8,517 views. The most popular post that day was GE Centricity Advance Ceasing Operations. As part of that post I got one of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten on my blog. They told me, “we know you’ll be fair.” I really appreciated them saying that since it is indeed my goal.

I really find my list of most popular posts ironic since so many of them were from past years. Luckily most of them are still valid today:
1. 2014 EHR Mandate
2. Examples of HIPAA Privacy Violation
3. Overwhelming List of EMR Companies
4. Email is Not HIPAA Secure
5. Obama Wants Full EHR by 2014

I’m particularly proud of the EHR mandate posts since there is A LOT of confusion about whether there’s an EHR mandate or not. Those posts do a good job fleshing out the answer to that question.

EMR and HIPAA has had visitors from 179 countries in all, but the US is far and away the top readership.

I hope you enjoyed the stats and thanks for reading! Here’s to a wonderful 2013!