[ Monday, July 07, 2008 ]


Why doctors don't use EHRs: Why are doctors hesitant to use EHRs? On the whole, doctors generally embrace technology. Certainly medical technology, like imaging modalities. And they seem to be generally ahead of the curve with techno toys like iPhones and the like. But they don't email (I'm guessing because of the privacy issues, for the most part, plus perhaps because the structure of interfacing within healthcare [consulting with patients, written reports to referrant providers] doesn't lend itself as much to emailing), and they haven't adopted EMRs like you'd expect. Part of that is expense, part is inertia (hey, law libraries are still full of books, because there's something comfortable about having a stack of books open that you can easily cross-reference, rather than a bunch of windows open on your computer that you can click back and forth on). I believe another part of it is "fear of Betamax:" doctors don't want to spend a bunch of money on a system only to find their's isn't the best or compatable with others.

According to this article, there's another reason: doctors are afraid of government intrusion if they use EMRs. That's disheartening, if at least understandable in this age of reduced reimbursement and heavier and heavier regulation. What could suck worse than overturning your entire apple cart of a business, retraining your staff and yourself on a new technology that might not even be the right one, then find that all your efforts simply made it easier for Uncle Sam to harrass you?

Jeff [10:06 AM]

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