Selfish Doctors Don’t Want to Change for EMR

Posted on June 13, 2006 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and 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 agree wholeheartedly that technology shouldn’t make it so that health workers(doctors in particular) have to COMPLETELY change the way they treat patients. However, I think it is completely absurd the way some health providers aren’t willing to change ANY processes when implementing an EMR. Just because you’ve done something one way for a long time doesn’t mean that it can’t(and shouldn’t) be changed.

Many healthcare providers I’ve known have been unwilling to change the way they practice in any way. The computer or technology should completely conform to the way they want to work and practice medicine. This is egotistical and wrong since this assumes that your way is the very best way and that their couldn’t possibly be something more efficient and better quality.

Feel free to rip apart an EMR system that doesn’t allow you to practice proper medicine. Don’t hide your thoughts when an EMR system doesn’t respect a patients privacy. Please let your EMR vendor know when they could do something better. Please don’t stand systems that aren’t fully developed or EMR systems that are overdeveloped(I call them Jabba the Hut EMR’s). Find something that you like and something that works close to the way you practice medicine, but don’t start working with an EMR and not expect to adapt many of your processes.

I know how much everyone enjoyed taking that medical chart and filing it or for that matter finding the chart in the first place. How come we aren’t complaining about not having to do that anymore? While you may consider this quite harsh, I think situations all to similar to this happen in an EMR implementation.

In fact, this just reminded me of my biggest EMR implementation pet peeve of all. Don’t act like you don’t know how to do your job anymore. Just because you have an EMR doesn’t mean that you can’t accomplish the same things. I don’t know how many times I’ve been told that the new EMR system won’t be able to do [fill in the blank]. My response is of course, why not? The reply is of course something akin to it just won’t work. I then kindly ask how they did it before EMR and not to leave out any details. Then, I calmly walk through a few different options of how it can be done in an EMR. They[Doctors] are dead on when they say that many old processes can’t be done in an EMR system. However, I can’t think of hardly any processes that can’t be modified and integrated into an EMR. Just don’t blame the EMR because you chose to stop doing it.

Moral of the Story: EMR means change. Embrace it. Love it. Don’t be too selfish to change.

Thanks to The Health Tech blog who prompted this rant. He has nothing to do with my opinions in this post, but his post prompted what you just read. Thanks!!