Posts Tagged ‘EHR Adoption’

The Pitfalls of Overblown EHR Expectations!

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Talking to someone very experienced with EHR rollouts, especially with Small and Medium Sized Physician practices, I got a very pessimistic view of what might happen to EHR Adoption. He thought  in such practices it would not be that great, ARRA Stimulus payments not withstanding!

Having gone through many hype cycles like Year 2000, Artificial Intelligence, Dot Com, etc I am a bit jaded when everyone is optimistic! That’s the time you need to break out your cynical evaluation of what’s being said. That’s the time everyone starts believing their own Kool-Aid when some level of skepticism is healthy and good.

During the Dot com boom, everybody had bought into the idea that Brick and Mortar stores were dead and every business in the world would be done online!

Did not happen that way; even though some things changed many things still remained the same. Of course, there were hundreds of businesses that changed for ever and online shopping is here to stay.

Something similar is likely to happen in the EHR adoption space also, most likely! Physician practices that were anyway postively inclined to automate their Health Records will go at full speed, Stimulus Payments or not, if they have not already! There will be many that will try it without a lot of planning and thought and fail as a result. This may be as much as these practices not being fully prepared with the right expectations of cost and time to successful implementation as the quality of people doing the implementation.

The Dot com boom attracted to technology, people who did not have any business doing technology just because of the demand for such people. The same may happen in 2010 and 2011 with great demand for people with EHR experience or NOT! This is where many things can go wrong and Physician practices may become even more jaded than now.

However, over the long run they will see success but it will be a quick upward curve in demand and adoption followed by a quick fall and then a gradual rise!

Electronic Health Records will buy all stakeholders incredible ROI but they may not see it immediately! That’s where discontentand disillusionment may set in. Hope it’s a short phase.


Initial Hump of Adoption

August 31, 2009 Leave a comment

One of the Physicians I was talking to about EHRs said that he joined a practice when they had already implemented EHR and rolled it out to everyone already.

He said that he was ready to quit the second day! He persisted and by the end of the first week, got so used to the system, would not go back to paper anytime soon!

That seems to be the problem. The initial hump of adoption!

I don’t blame physicians. If I have been doing my job for years and years one way and I were to change it overnight, I would be upset and ready to quit also! But Physicians see the expense, delay and the downstream problems associated with paper records, they don’t want to go back to the way it was!

Pen and paper are very easy to use, painless from day 1 and that’s probably the way they were taught for years and years. This is like changing horses in midstream. More like swapping a horse for an automobile. Both have horsepower and that’s probably where the comparisons stop!

It may be better for consultants and EHR vendors to describe this process honestly in the beginning rather than oversell the ease with which the transition will happen! I am sure Physicians readily see the downstream advantages and are ready for it but the initial hump of adoption may be the one that scares them!