Part I: Ditching Your EMR For a New One? Here’s How To Prepare

As many of you know, EMRs have been around for some time. Although I wouldn’t go as far as to say they have matured as a product, there have been some progress in terms functionality (notice I didn’t say innovation).

The new word around the block is that apparently, practices are leaving their old EMR for new shinier ones. Now, some people say that moving from one EMR to another EMR is actually harder than moving from paper charts to an EMR. I find that hard to believe, but hey, what do I know.

Regardless, moving from one system to another is always a challenge and one that very few of us have actually gone through. So, let’s say you are planning to ditch your old EMR, what are the things you need to think about in order to start going down this huge transition?

Chip Hart from Physician Computer Company (my new vendor by the way), sat down with me recently and gave me the scoop on how, based on his experience of doing several conversions, is the best way to go about this monumental task.   It’s worth noting that they weren’t all conversions to PCC.  Chip tells me they’ve had plenty of people switch from one EHR to another and not PCC.

Chip, what is the biggest thing I need to be concerned about when taking on an EMR transition?

Data conversion. How will your data move from EHR1 to EHR2? This issue is, by far, the biggest obstacle in the process of transferring from one EHR to another.

Really? But it is all data isn’t it? Transfering 1s and 0s from one file to another should be easy and quick, is it not?

Any vendor who makes promises about what data can be transferred between the systems without analyzing your actual data is just guessing. Every EHR is different and often very different from practice to practice. Experience with a particular conversion is great, but not a guarantee. Many EHR vendors can’t even transfer data from one of their own systems!

OK, what is the second biggest concern that we need to consider?

You will likely need to manage a three-way balance of timing, cost, and quality for both vendors.

Whew, sound like a lot of work. OK, in your experience, what would an ideal EMR conversion look like?

In an ideal circumstance, an EHR conversion would work as follows:

  1. Comprehensive data from EHR1 is transferred to EHR2 well in advance of the transition to EHR2
  2. Over a matter of weeks the quality of the data transfer to EHR2 is reviewed by your office. Confirm everything from discrete data points like vitals to the transfer of scanned images to your narrative/notes.
  3. Then, on the last day actively putting data into EHR1, repeat the data transfer so that your database is as up-to-date as possible.

On paper this seems pretty smooth, but I know that in practice this isn’t always the case. What are some of the hurdles that come up during this process?

Sometimes, your relationship with EHR1 has deteriorated to the point that access to the database is limited. Additionally, many EHR companies restrict database access or export in their agreements with you. Their reasoning should be obvious, be prepared to fight for your data.

Let’s say my relationship with my old vendor is good. Anything I need to be aware of still?

If the relationship with EHR1 is good, and they are capable of delivering data to EHR2 in a timely and consistent manner, it is perfectly reasonable for them to charge for this service. The range of reasonable charges can be quite broad based on a variety of technical factors, but note that the amount of effort by EHR1 is not usually tied to the size of the practice or volume of the data…so a greater charge for a larger practice usually reflects EHR1’s expectation that a larger practice can afford to pay more.

Anything else?

As noted, make sure that TIMING is a part of any discussion you have relating to data conversions. Some vendors will take 2 to 3 to 6 weeks (or more!) to deliver data to you, the effective of which on a transfer can be devastating. Sometimes, it can take a few days to then convert the data – if you come with 800GB of images, you can’t transfer that in 15 minutes. [Future PediatricInc.com readers will laugh at that comment.]

——————-

For my next post, I will posting Chip’s comments on how to leverage what we already know (as seasoned EMR users), to make the transition into the new EMR a successful one.

Chip Hart is Physician’s Computer Company Director of Pediatric Solutions at Physician’s Computer Company and he blogs at Confessions of a Pediatric Consultant. Chip also contributes from time to time to PediatricInc. To read Chip’s previous contributions, click here.

Lastly, I’d also like to point out that these are the types of discussions that we have on SOAPM, which is the Section of Administration and Practice Management at the AAP. As I’ve said before, if you are in private practice, and you are not  a member of SOAPM, you are missing out.

I Don’t Know How Else To Put This, But My Ebook Is Kind of a Big Deal

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably know about my e-book, 101 Ways to Transform Your Practice.

If you haven’t picked it up (it is free by the way) I wanted to give you a little nudge to do so. Not everything in the ebook is going to work in your practice. But at the very least, I think the ebook will spark ideas that you would have not had otherwise.

If you are still not convinced, then let me share this little something that I got from a reader of PediatricInc recently that got the ebook.

Hi Brandon

Thank you soooo very much!

I  shared your book  with my staff, as the template for our practice meeting today, as we are forging ahead to re- engineer our practice, and I must say , afterwards our way forward became crystal clear.

In one day, we have created a Facebook page, developed an email template to thank new patients for visiting our medical home, and created three mini videos using myself and my nurse to welcome patients to Frontier Kids Care!

We have a new excitement about implementing our changes.

We are also looking at recalls, and the financial status of the practice.

We looked at our mission and are working on the charter.

Our improved website is due to be released next week, but we are going to be wasting no time in putting our new status on Facebook etc now.

I invite you to preview our before and after website at frontierkidscare.com

In Trinidad, obviously our needs are much simpler, we definitely do not have practice managers, but my solo practice has a nurse and a receptionist, and we cross train.

I definitely am challenged on  the business side, so I realize I need a business manager in some form or fashion.

So again thanks, and I wonder if your book has been published so I can purchase one.

Your practice is blessed to have you!

Take good care.

Rose Marie

I don’t know how else to put this, but my ebook is kind of a big deal. Pick it up for free by going here.

What is the Benefit of an EMR in a Medical Practice?

Today, I have another guest post. This time it’s from Dr. Suzanne Berman MD, FAAP. Dr. Berman is also a contributor to Survivor Pediatrics. In this post, she gives insight into the real benefit of having a EMR. For example, many docs believe that a EMR will help them chart faster. But as Dr. Berman points out, that is not always true. 

The real benefit of an EMR isn’t being able to put data in/chart faster – this is great if you can do it but not everyone can point/click/type faster than they can check boxes–

…the real benefit of an EMR is getting practice-wide data quickly OUT of it.

When docs test drive EMRs, they want to see “How do I put in the vitals?  How do I issue an Rx?”  As far as getting data out, they want to see patient-specific, single-patient data: “Show me the kid’s growth chart.”  “Show me their pattern of no-shows.”

But the real ROI is learning how to get data OUT – report writing and so on.  Most docs never learn this, or expect the administrator to do it all.

I’ve posted on SOAPM before about how we found $3K/month in lost revenue in labs we weren’t billing for by cross-checking the number of, say, strep tests documented in the chart vs 87880’s billed for – at a cost of $100/month.   Is $3K/month a huge cash cow? Nope, but it’s something we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

We get another perhaps $1000/month for running reminders on missed E&M, 99050, etc.  and we already run a pretty tight ship.  Other practices have found similar results from cross-checking vaccines, etc.

By reporting on how many different days I saw kids at our local hospital (place of service 21 or 22) I can give our practice’s accountant a nice list of work-related mileage from our office to the hospital.  This is maybe $500/yr in tax savings for me and my husband.  Is this ginormous? Nope, but since the report is already there and it takes 2 minutes to run and print, $500 earned in 2 minutes work is pretty good.

Having the computer do the various annual reports that are required of the various programs we participate in saves my nurse administrator time.  How many VFC vaccines from a certain lot did we give between date A and date B to self-pay vs. Medicaid patients? How many H1N1 vaccines did we give during a period?  Point, click, print, fax, move on.  No hand tabulating.  No adding up long columns of numbers by hand.

There’s a new Framitz machine that’s now CLIA-waived!  It’s on sale, $5000, and the cost per test is $3.  Insurance reimbursement is $8.   Is it worth it? Depends on how many Framitz tests we sent out last year — and with a couple clicks, I can see what the ROI on a new Framitz machine would be.

I don’ t expect everyone to be the data mining geek that I am – but I posit that you will never reap the rewards of an EMR if you don’t know how to get practice-wide data intelligently OUT of it.

And that’s the trouble with spending a lot of time on scanning old data into the EMR – it’s clunky and time consuming, and you have to do it, but the data you’re putting in can’t be extracted in any meaningful way (unless you are doing some really awesome indexing) to do the cool things I’m talking about.

 

Primitive to Paperless in 6 Weeks

Today’s post comes from Dr. Bill Adams. Dr. Adams is a pediatrician and he works at Triangle Pediatrics in Cary North Carolina. His office recently went live with an EMR. He wrote a really nice summary, so I asked him if I could publish it on the blog. He agreed, so I wanted to share it with you.

Setup:

  • EMR Live 6/7/11
  • 7 providers, up to 65 years old, with 18 staff support, one location
  • 31,230 charts gone (Two rooms), National Scanning,Inc., review of that company to follow.
  • Office Practicum EMR and PM
  • Eprescribing and Instamed claims processing implemented
  • Dell T610 Dual Core server,and backup server
  • 13 Lenovo X220T I5 laptop/tablets (all day, no recharge, Gorilla glass, pen/touch/keyboard)
  • Standard DSL (No T1)

Well, we’ll just have to see how this goes. Of course we are certainly not counting our chickens yet, but it hasn’t been as bad as everybody says. There are plenty of annoyances along the way, but no roadblocks. The days are longer at the beginning of this learning curve, but no late nights. We haven’t had to remove the knives and sharp objects from the office. None of the 25 staff lost.

Appreciate:

  • Good advice from SOAPM members, and from other practices that have been implementing systems for the last 15 years.
  • Our office manager anticipating problems. Everything from implementation to handing out Starbucks gift cards to parents who may have waited a little too long at first.
  • Inexpensive, robust equipment. Our Lenovo laptop/tablets are now just $1100 and reviewed as best available, though not crazy about the smallish screen. Problems that are identified as the computer, have always been Windows rather than the machines. Dell Dual core server $3400. Good cheap laser printers, scanners.
  • Maturation of the EMR software industry (more debugged)
  • Windows 7, especially the smoothness of Remote Desktop at home, and Plug-and-play networking, compared to XP/Vista. Windows tablet has a way to go.

Regrets:

  • Wish government had mandated interactivity of systems, before broadly mandating EMR . Until then, I still regard this as all premature. A shame.
  • Wish the AAP could have harvested experience from its huge membership to set up an effective, useful EMR/PMS rating system. Too bad.
  • Wish it could have been ASP, all internet based. Chose not to.

Looking forward to:

  • Portal (January)
  • Thin clients in room instead of laptops ( needs a few technical improvements )
  • Direct connectivity of peripherals: CBC Emerald/PFT/Vital signs/hearing/vision. Hmmm, how do we do U/A results directly?

For Sale:

  • 40 linear feet of chart shelving
Thanks Dr. Adams for this great summary. Personally, I think the picture says it all. I also liked how he mentioned he didn’t have any roadblocks… annoyances, yes, but roadblocks, no.

10 Hidden Cost When Implementing an EMR

It seems the tides are turning. With all the government incentive talks, meaningful use guidelines and healthcare reform, doctors are starting to really look at implementing EMRs.

Deciding on which EMR to choose is no easy task. How to implement it with the least amount of burden is also a challenge. Fortunately, there are countless articles online that will help with these tasks. And there are many consultants that can help you with this process as well.

One area that I think hasn’t been explored enough though, is the hidden cost of implementing an EMR. The surprise expenses, the things nobody told you about, the stuff the vendor forgot to mention, the oh by the way, you’ll need to buy a few more xyz if you want to abc…

I caught up with Chip Hart. Chip is a pediatric practice management consultant and he also works for PCC, which is a pediatric software developer. He’s been playing this EMR, medical practice technology game for quite some time, so I thought he’d be a good resource to help others – that are in the process of implementing an EMR – what to consider in terms of expenses.

I asked him to tell me what where the 10 common hidden cost when implementing an EMR and here is what he had to say:

  1. Is a telephone/Internet upgrade required? This is especially true if the practice has more than one location or if the practice is using an ASP model.
  2. Count up your maximum required tablets/pads/etc. on any given shift and then add 50%. The practice will inevitably have one or more units “in the shop” over time.
  3. Plan to buy extra batteries for all your portable equipment.
  4. You will need to store your new equipment, safely and securely. Chip says they’ve had a few clients have their shiny new laptops collections stolen from the office. Note that the practice will need space and to spend extra dollars in making this accommodations.
  5. If you already have a Practice Management software in place, note that the interface integration charges can be significant. More importantly, the functionality can be nebulous.
  6. Training needs is also something to consider. It is the norm for vendors to limit your training – it’s the most expensive part of the deal for us. Add to your training your configuration time, support requirements, and post-online follow up. If your training is counted in hours, then be prepared to wish you had more.
  7. Don’t forget IT expenses. I have seen some RIDICULOUS IT quotes given to our clients in the last 12 months. I know clients who pay more for a local guy to load virus programs and “support” their network than they pay for their EHR or PM and all that entails. Lately, this is has been the biggest culprit for unexpected costs.
  8. There are some big ticket upgrades coming soon. A few vendors are making waves for charging for “ARRA” upgrades. They will soon be charging for “ICD-10” upgrades, etc. A few well known vendors made WSJ back in 1999 when they made a fortune on Y2K upgrades.
  9. Plan for reduced productivity. Yes, I know all about practices who lose little, if any, productivity but that is exceptional. In fact, some offices also have a LOWER E&M distribution after going on-line because they are finally charting properly.
  10. Is there any chance that this revolutionary change in your office will cause you to lose any employees or providers? You’d be surprised how often it happens.

Bonus Tips: Staff overtime, doctor overtime

Healthcare: To iPad or Not to iPad

The mobihealthnews blog posted an infograph titled “Sizing Up the iPad for Healthcare” a while back. The data shows that 60% of physicians plan to either buy an iPad, were interested in learning more about the device or bought one when it came out.

There is no doubt that the iPad is an attractive device for just about any healthcare setting. And that includes a medical office.

In our medical practice, we’ve had mixed reviews with the iPad. It appeared to be very promising when we first started testing it. But my doc’s report a few problems with it. For example, they complain that connecting to our EMR via the remote desktop program (RDP) isn’t as easy. They also report a lot of lag and poor response.

I know these problems may or may not be the iPad’s fault. It could be a bandwidth issue or the RDP software we’re using, for example.

My personal opinion is that the iPad is not made as a content creation device. And by content, I mean typing. Sure, you can type until your heart is content on it. It does have an onscreen keyboard. But for those that are used to typing with all 10 fingers, the iPad hinders the process because one can’t rest one’s fingers on the screen. That means you have to resort to “pecking” at the keys.

That is why I think when it comes to charting, the jury is still out. When you consider that at times, the device (or the software) lags, typing takes getting used to, and there is really no easy way to prop-up the device, I believe it is a bit cumbersome to use in a healthcare setting. To complete one or two charts at the end of the day lying on your bed before going to sleep, great. But completing 30 charts, not so great.

The iPad is great to consume content. If you just want to look at something, the iPad is perfect for that. It boots up fast, the software is snappy and connects to the Internet faster than a laptop; not to mention, everything looks pretty on it. Consequently, it does well for quickly checking labs, retrieving information from the EMR like a patient’s last weight or jumping online quickly.

In a recent Business Insider survey, they found that the most popular activity on the iPad is web browsing, followed by email and other communications.

There is no doubt that the iPad hardware is where it needs to be. It is solid and reliable on things like battery life for example. But I’m less optimistic on the continue growth of the iPad in the medical field. Not because I don’t think it is a good device for health professional, but because I don’t think healthcare software is compelling enough on the iPad to really make the device an all encompassing health care mobile device. Not until, of course, healthcare software vendors start to develop specifically for the iPad.

I know there are people out there that are using the iPad exclusively in their office and they wouldn’t have it any other way. What is your experience and what are your thoughts?

For a complete mobihealthnews.com story, check out for details at http://mobihealthnews.com/8731/infographic-sizing-up-the-ipad-for-healthcare/

What Do Bicycles an EMRs Have in Common?

Photo Credit: beta karel

The walkers

Imagine there is a group of people traveling through the wilderness by foot. Every day they get up and travel miles and miles through all kinds of terrain and weather conditions. Some days they travel mostly up hill, while others days they travel downhill. They go through ravines, savannas, jungles and deserts. Every day is a challenge. But these “walkers” are well prepared for these challenges. They have become accustomed to this way of life.  Not to mention they have the proper gear to help them in their daily journey.

New means

One day, the walkers encounter something they’ve never seen before. It is a wheeled vehicle with two wheels powered by foot pedals. They call it a bicycle.

Although the bicycle is foreign to them, they soon understand what it is for and more important the potential the bicycle has. It is obvious that this bicycle allows them to be far more efficient in their expeditions. They can travel farther and faster while using less energy. With these bicycles, they can become more proficient.

Not everything that shines is gold

But they soon realize that the bicycle cost money. They actually cost a lot of money; and each walker would have to get their own.  There is also a learning curve. It takes a while to learn how to ride a bike, which can affect a walker’s progress on their daily journeys.

A new group

Despite these hurdles, a group begins to form within the walkers whom believe this bicycle thing has a lot of promise. The large group is divided and two distinct groups form. There is the group that wants to remain “walkers” and there is a group that adopts the bicycle to become the “riders.”

Move on

Not wanting to waste more time, the walkers leave behind the riders and continue on their journey. Many affirm they don’t have the money to spend on bicycles, others complain that learning how to ride a bicycle will set them back and others actually have both complaints. So they march on.

Decisions

The newly formed group, formerly known as the walkers, stick around to learn more about these bikes. They soon find out that they can’t just take any bicycle; they have to decide which bicycle they need. Essentially, each bicycle is designed with a different purpose. Thus, they have to consider terrain and weather conditions they will encounter. Speed, wheel size, gears, and handlebars are just some of the other things they have to think before selecting a bicycle. They have to answer questions like, will there be jumping or riding long distances over flat terrain? Will they be riding through mud, sand, or mountains?

Frustration

Most of the new bikers start growing frustrated. They just want a bike that works and gets the job done. Problem is, that once they decide on a bike, there is no going back. So the decision on which bicycle they chose has to be precise; which adds to the pressure.

Pat on the back

The walkers on the other hand are trekking along, looking back at the riders and snickering and assuring themselves they made the right choice.

Training

Bikers soon decide on the bike, but now, they have to learn how to ride it. Even though the seller of the bike sold them on the idea they could learn how to ride a bike in a couple of weeks, it actually takes longer… much longer.

So after several long weeks, the riders are up and riding. But even thought they got the training, it will be a while before they catch up to the walkers.

Progress

It has been months now since the riders got their bicycles and they are using them to their fullest capacity. Now the bikers realize they made the right choice.

There are pros & cons with everything

The bikers acknowledge that going up hill, for example, is still hard to do with their new bicycles much like it is difficult for the walkers. But it is far better than walking up the hills because the bike affords them gears, and nice clip-on pedals that help them be propelled up the hill. In deed, downhill for the walkers is easier than the uphill, but when compared to riding a bicycle downhill, there is no comparison.

Except when the terrain was difficult to maneuver. Riders sometimes had to get off their bikes and cross-terrain that was not suitable for bike riding. In fact, it was easier for the walkers at times because they didn’t have to carry the bicycles through dense foliage, through rivers or up steep inclines.

You see, I told you

Walkers pointed to these shortcomings as reasons not to adopt bicycles. And although they acknowledge there are benefits to becoming a rider, the transition was just too painful for them. They point out that the bicycle is too expensive, requires training to master, hinders their ability [at times], requires yearly maintenance – which increases the cost. The walker also argue that at times, they can move faster than the riders and trek more ground because they aren’t bogged down by the size, bulkiness and weight of the bike under difficult terrain.

Once you go bike, you never go back

Riders acknowledged that the bicycles weren’t perfect. However, they all agreed that bicycles were a vast improvement over walking. Despite the cost, hardships and challenges of their decisions to become bikers, they concluded they would never go back to walking again.

Pediatric Practice Management Conference

Photo Credit: origamidon

At the risk of sounding like a “fan-boy”  again, I wanted to inform you about an awesome pediatric focused practice management seminar coming up this summer.

The seminar is hosted by Physician’s Computer Company and the courses include some pretty cool topics:

  • EHR Panel Discussion
  • How to get Government Funding for EHR
  • How to be Successful in a Tough Economy
  • Top Ten Legal Issues Practices Need to Know
  • Negotiating in the New World of Managed Care
  • Coding 2010: Modifying, Documenting, and Getting Paid
  • Coding Tips and Billing Strategies For Getting Paid What You Deserve
  • The Silents, Boomers, GenXers and GenYers: Managing the Generations and more!

To check out the course schedule, click on this link

For more information about the conference check out this link

I attended last year’s conference and it was completely worth it. What I loved most about the conference, is that it is pediatric specific. There is a big difference in a conference that focuses on multiple medical specialties (like the MGMA for example), and a conference that makes pediatric practice management “the only” specialty.

By the way, I don’t get anything for promoting the conference. I do it because I genuinely think it is one of the best (if not the only) pediatric practice management seminars out-there. Furthermore, I think it will provide you and your medical practice with valuable information. These guys know the business of pediatric probably better than we know our own business.

As if my thoughts on practice management conferences aren’t clear enough, check out these two post:

Increase Revenue By Attending Coding Seminars

Spend Money To Save Money

Oh, and if you do decide to go, stop by and say hi. It will be easy to spot me. I’ll be the handsome one in the room. 😉

Seven Reasons Why Medical Practices Have Yet to Adopt EMRs

It is no secret. The majority of office-based physicians are not using EMR’s. According a recent article in FierceEMR only 6 percent are using a fully functioning EMR. I’ve read in other places adoption is as high as 15%. Still minuscule in the grand scheme of things.

Why is that? Why the slow adoption? Is it because docs fear technology? Is it because doc’s prefer the antiquated method of analog documentation? Is it because they see not added value in EMR’s?

In many circles, doc’s are criticized for their slow adoption. However, I’m going out on a limb here and suggest it is the fault of [most] EMR vendors that doctors have not fully adopted EMR’s in their practice.

Here is why:

1)      Too expensive: EMR’s have been around for at least 15 years, yet EMR vendors have yet to achieve economies of scale that reduce the price of EMR’s.

Imagine if a small business owner had to pay $6,000 or $12,000 for each license of Microsoft Office; how many small business owners would install MS Office at that price? A stripped consumer version of Adobe Photoshop runs for less than $100. A full version runs for less than $1000. I understand EMR’s are complex pieces of software, but does it really have to be that expensive?

EMR’s are so expensive that even the government realized  doctors’ adoption of EMR’s on their own merits was not feasible, so they will soon be offering up to $45,000 per physician to cover the cost. What does that tell you when the government has to step in?

2)      No Dominate Players: There are so many EMR vendors out there that it isn’t even funny. Deciding on which one is the best value for a practice is very difficult. Using the MS Office metaphor again, imagine having 20 or 30 different types of office productivity suites application to chose from, how would that affect the decision making process especially when one considers the wide range of options, prices, support that each one of these EMR vendors offers? Which brings me to my third reason…

3)       Too Many Choices: I’m all for choice, but when there are so many [unproven] companies out there, deciding on one is very overwhelming. It is like trying to choose a new breakfast cereal in the grocery store isle. There are so many cereal choices, one ends up sticking with the one you’ve been eating since you were a little kid.

4)      Locked in: Once a practice decides on a system, they are locked in due to the large investment. If the practice doesn’t like the system, if support stinks, if upgrades are few and far between (you know who you are), there is nothing a practice can do about it. Unfortunately, all the money to pay for the software is provided upfront; therefore walking out if things go sour is simply not a realistic option. This too is a hard pill to swallow for physicians.

5)      No Interoperability: Our EMR, despite being touted with all this HL7 compatibility stuff, doesn’t speak (computer language that is) with any other EMR on the planet (I can’t even send an electronic file to a doc with the same EMR software. I have to print it out for them, and they would have to scan it in). Thus, the efficiencies one would gain from being able to retrieve data from multiple area hospitals or other health care facilities and medical offices are non-existent. Imagine having one of those 3 and 1 machines (fax, copier, scanner), where the fax function doesn’t work because it can’t send or receive messages from any other fax on the planet.

6)      Productivity claims are misleading: EMR vendors love to sell the notion to doctors that with their EMR, they can see more patients and spend more time with their families. This is a little misleading. The fact is a doc can complete a paper chart, with their chicken scratch, faster then they can clicking and typing thru an EMR program.

EMR’s can enhance productivity (it can also hinder it as well), but not the way most EMR vendors plug it. For our practice, the core productivity enhancements are:

  1. Saves time tracking patient data
  2. Helps organize, automate and synchronize patient encounters
  3. Enhance physician documentation

Our EMR helps us be more organized, thus we are more productive. But the EMR (at least in our experience) doesn’t help doc’s work faster, thus be more productive. There is a distinction there.

7)      Too complicated in their design: One can tell by looking at [most] EMR’s, that an engineer designed it. What does that mean? The user interfaces looks like an old cockpit of a plane. There are so many buttons, it is hard to know where to look at first.

Doc’s are smart people, so they eventually figure it out if they have the motivation. But just like the rest of us, they like cool, sleek simple design too. As a little known designer said once, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”EMR user interface have to improve in order to gain more adoption. Design matters!

UPDATE: I decided to post one more reason as a bonus point.

8)        Implementation is a pain:  About 2-month in of implementing our EMR, I called our EMR’s sales rep and told him to come get his software because we didn’t want it anymore. The implementation of the software was so overwhelming, so tedious, so backwards and so difficult that we thought we had made the wrong choice.

As it turned out, pretty much everybody I’ve come across that has adopted an EMR has had similar experience. We weren’t the only one. In our case, the EMR vendor did a poor job of managing our expectation, training was terrible and as a result, expectations did not meet reality.

When others hear these horror stories from people that have gone through the process, who would want to go through with something like this? That is why implementation has to improve in order to get more people to adopt EMR’s.

Do you agree? I’m sure there are EMR vendors out there that would disagree with me. Let me hear what your thoughts are.

For 11 more reasons why medical practices have yet to adopt EMR’s, check this link out here