Cost of Leaving EMR for Paper

Posted on May 12, 2009 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’ve just begun my series listing the benefits of an EMR in a clinical practice, but today I was kind of struck by a post over on the TempDev blog. The post is called “Would You Go Back to Paper?” The following section of an email they received is what struck me most:

I cannot begin to tell you how the loss of EMRs has adversely impacted our work. Please keep up the good work with helping people implement EMRs.

A Midwest RN

They also have a poll on their post which should hopefully turn up some interesting results. However, this comment from A Midwest RN really made me think about what it would be like to leave an EMR and return to the paper world. I’ve quite often suggested that if the clinic I work for full time chose to move to another EMR, I’d just leave first. I expect if they chose to go back to paper, I’d do the same. Luckily, I don’t think either of those things are even in the dark recesses of the mind.

I must admit it’s really hard for me to imagine our clinic without EMR. It’s such an integral part of how we operate that I can only imagine the struggles we’d have to go back. Sure makes me think about all the complaining that happened during the EMR implementation process. I’m guessing the complaining that would occur if we went back to paper charting would be even worse.

Nice to take a second to look at EMR implementation from a different angle.