EMR – What do They Expect?

Frank Quinn
March 14, 2013 — 1,181 views  
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Once considered a tool for automating clinical documentation and helping physicians to ensure precision in managing workflows, Electronic Medical Records (EMR) have come a long way to offer physicians much more than that. With features like preventive check mechanisms and interaction alerts, it can easily be established that EMRs have become a complete decision support tool for physicians. No doubt, this technology has boosted up providers expectations from the EMR vendors.

Consequently established EMR vendors never failed to fathom that as the time passes by, free EMR, and specialty EMRs would not be suffice to meet physicians' growing expectations.

"Certainly EMRs are the best thing that could happen to healthcare providers. You start with going paperless and then experience tons of exceptional advantages. Moreover, it is even better that EMR vendors understand that the technology stays in the market only if it is capable of meeting consumer expectations", says a California based Health IT consultant.  

Initially, most physicians did not support EMR adoption, no matter even if it were a free EMR. Some thought it might end up treating them as clerks, while others could not let go of their conventional habits. However, things began to change as they got familiar with the potential benefits of the technology. Besides helping in efficient documentation management, physicians now expect EMRs also to assist them ensure patient safety and deliver better care quality.

Without a doubt, having lofty expectations is a good idea but being irrational might end up disappointing an individual. Therefore, expecting EMRs to replace healthcare professionals would be inane. It is important to understand that EMR vendors make health IT solutions that are designed to assist providers and not to replace them.

As physicians' expectation is the main subject under discussion, I couldn't resist talking about the free EMRs. The word "free" has an effectively prolific connotation to it, and that is exactly what becomes a selling point of EMR vendors. However, it is only until providers implement these free EMRs their expectations are shattered. The additional costs of installing essential components and add-ons, completely takes away the excitement of implementing a free EMR.

Moreover, having had their hands on the CMS' financial incentives of MU stage 1, some physicians are dubious if they would be able to meet the objectives for the MU stage 2. This is because they believe, their EMRs, and I quote again, be it a free EMR or not, lacks the capability to meet the objectives.  

 Raising a question whether EMR adoption would increase or not is really not a major concern, as we know it is bound to be. However, if EMR vendors keep up with the growing expectations, experiencing a tremendous increase in the adoption rate would become inevitable.


Frank Quinn

Over the past twenty years, Frank Quinn has contributed significantly on standardizing, interconnecting and institutionalizing care delivery through health IT, helping eliminate barriers to accessibility, quality and adoption. EMR, practice management, eRx, patient portal, medical billing, compliance, privacy and security are his areas of expertise. For more information, please contact Frank at [email protected]