Health Care Thoughts: Electronic Medical Record Meltdown
In the past I have predicted the EMR focus of the Obama administration might not work as well as intended. Sadly, and many billions of dollars later, I may be correct.
(The New York Times has run many pieces on this, the latest on the hard copy business page on 1/11/2013.)
And next year we make the ICD-10 conversation, sort of throwing gasoline on a raging fire.
There are a multitude of problems:
Too many vendor systems, making EMR to EHR linkages difficult
Crazy long and complex federal regulations
The input devices irritate physicians and disrupt the flow of the office practice
Medicare thinks EMRs are inflating billings, due to text cloning and auto-coding
The hospital and nursing home systems are often distractions to nursing
Going totally paperless is largely a myth so far
HIPAA security issues abound
So where will EMRs work? Based on recent observations perhaps in very large integrated systems where every provider is on the same system, although some of the front line personnel are singing the same sad songs as others.
E-prescribing may be one area with some success.