Joe the Doctor: “…’scuse me, why do I want to bet-my-practice on an EMR?”

DoctorwonderingBlogger Fred Pennic writes a review of the (HIMSS) Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society 2008 Book of the Year Award. The book is entitled Keys to EMR Success: Selecting and Implementing an Electronic Medical Record and is written by Ronald Sterling, CPA, MBA.

There is no question,” says Sterling “that the selection and implementation of an EMR is a ‘bet-the-practice’ proposition. If you fail, you end up with more costs and greater frustration.…” (emphasis added)

The real question that Joe the Doctor is asking himself is “…’scuse me, but WHY am I being forced to bet-my-practice on an EMR in the first place?  I’m not a gambler.”

The problem here is not in health information technology (HIT) per se, but in conceptualizing EMR 1.0 as an all or nothing proposition…pass vs. fail, white vs. black, bet the practice and win vs. bet the practice and lose.

This is exactly why a modular and incremental approach to HIT — clinical groupware, EHR 2.0 — makes more sense than the monolithic bet-the-practice approach of EMR 1.0. Physicians shouldn’t have to bet-their-practice on EMR implementation success.


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