My EHR Stimulus Tour Experience

Posted on September 8, 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.

Many of you might remember me ripping on the EHR Stimulus Tour being a nice marketing idea for Allscripts. Ok, so maybe I went a little overboard when I said that the EHR stimulus tour sickens me and compared the EHR stimulus tour to an Amway or MLM convention. Yes, I did feel a little icky going to it and even leaving the event. However, I will admit that it was much calmer than I would have ever expected it would be. They did a pretty good job of leaving out the sales talk. Although, Allscripts really was the only vendor with much presence. A Citrix rep was there along with a local Embarq salesperson who had some Cisco IP representation as well.

Overall, I have a feeling that many will go away from the event disappointed. They did provide some good information on the amount of the EHR stimulus money and also how the EHR stimulus money will be paid. They also had quite a bit of information about ONC and other government organizations related to the ARRA funds. However, I’m guessing that many went home from the presentation seeing the dollar signs from the EMR stimulus money with little information on how to actually get the money.

Yes, I know it’s still early to be doing presentations with too much detail on “meaningful use” and “certified EHR,” but I think it would be valuable to talk about what those could potentially be. At least show them a timeline of when we’ll know more about those 2 all important terms. Instead, it was basically a presentation on the MONEY, 2 raw raw speeches about EMR use and then a sales demo over lunch.

The 2 speeches from doctors in the community were interesting. The first problem I had was that these 2 guys came from very large clinical practices. Much of what they talked about just isn’t possible for small practices. For example, one guy said we can report on anything. We just turn it over to this one whiz kid who can build a report to tell us anything. Unfortunately, small practices don’t have the whiz kid report writer to pull the data out of the EMR. That’s just one example, but you get the point. They talked about really cool things that are just hard to apply in a small practice setting.

One other note was that at least one of the speakers actually was a Misys user instead of Allscripts. I was so tempted to ask them how they felt about Misys being acquired by Allscripts and how much it was going to cost them to switch to Allscripts EMR from Misys. The timing was wrong and so I’m going to try and email him to find out. However, there were a number of other Misys users around me that were quite upset about the Allscripts purchase and the need to switch from Misys to Allscripts to get the EHR stimulus money (at least that’s what they told me).

I’ll do a few other posts about some of the technologies they showed in the demo. Although, I’ll admit that it was a horrible idea for them to do a demo like they did. Everyone around me had a headache since the screen was so small and he was clicking so much they just got confused. I didn’t mind it, but I’ve seen quite a few EMR before.

Of course, all in all it was a nice meeting for me. I made some good Las Vegas EMR contacts and got a free lunch.