EHRs Fix Everything – and Nine Other Myths

I read this article recently published by American Academy of Family Physicians and found it quite useful. As a health IT professional, I also talk about many of the ideas written up in the article but perhaps coming from a fellow physician (the author an MD), it will mean more to other physicians considering EMRs and EHRs. Here are myths the article debunks (along with some of my own comments):

  • Myth 1 – A new EHR system will fix everything. Fact – moving to a new system will create new problems at the same time that it solved old problems. Be ready to adapt.
  • Myth 2 – Brand A is the best. Fact – no single software package fits all practices equally.
  • Myth 3 – Our software needs to work the way we currently work. Fact – commercial software is not malleable enough to suit your needs. You’ll have to change your workflows to conform to the new technology.
  • Myth 4 – Software will eliminate errors. Fact – software can eliminate some rudimentary errors but in fact can propagate real errors even faster.
  • Myth 5 – Discrete data is always best. Fact – start with free text and add discrete data where you know you can make use of it. Having tons of data you “could analyze” has a low ROI.
  • Myth 6 – The more templates, the better. Fact — maintaining templates is hard work, only do it because it has clinical or business value. Less is more in this case.
  • Myth 7 – Electronic records are more legible than paper records. Fact – when you have electronic data, you have a lot more “noise” in the chart (because it’s easier to capture).
  • Myth 8 – Mobile is best. Fact – don’t be fooled by fancy gadgets. Mobile is fine but you’ll trade value for convenience and since you don’t really need all the features in your hip pocket go for “minimal mobile” features and “maximal desktop” features.
  • Myth 9 – You must have a detailed plan, and stick to it.
  • Myth 10 – You can stop planning.

The article is worth reading if you’re considering automating your practice on the clinical side.

Author

Shahid N. Shah

Shahid Shah is an internationally recognized enterprise software guru that specializes in digital health with an emphasis on e-health, EHR/EMR, big data, iOT, data interoperability, med device connectivity, and bioinformatics.