EMR Interfaces Are Like Kids

Posted on June 3, 2009 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.

When implementing an EMR you are very likely to also implement an EMR interface. The most common type of EMR interface is with your lab, but you might also have an interface with radiology, pharmacy, vital machines, ekg machines, spirometry machines, etc. The fact is that you are very likely to run into an interface in the process of implementing an EHR.

Interfaces with your EMR software are your very best friends, but also can be incredibly frustrating. Sounds a lot like my children. Here’s a short list of ways that EMR interfaces are like kids:

  • Some people just know they want one, but others debate getting one all together. In the end, most people end up with one.
  • They often will cost to implement and also cost (time if nothing else) to maintain.
  • A lot of time is spent at the beginning taking care of the interface and making sure that it’s working properly.
  • Most people love them and can’t imagine life without them.
  • When they work your life is wonderful, when they don’t you wonder why you got one in the first place.
  • They cause you serious headaches and usually those headaches happen at the very worst times.

Ok, so it’s not a perfect analogy, but I think this feeling about interfaces is shared by most people involved in them.  All of this said, I think our interface with our lab is one of the best reasons to use an EMR.  It’s so seamless and beautiful to see the orders get sent and the results returned with the lab signed off electronically.