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All Things HIT

Sep 16 2012   10:45AM GMT

EHR’s generational gap just breaks my heart!

Posted by: AllinHIT
EHR adoption, Meaningful use

Changing my company focus from consulting to independent physicians will undoubtedly pay off financially. However, assisting small practices with EHR implementations will always have a special place in my heart. That’s why I made an effort to check back in with former clients and friends during this break between assignments. I was quickly reminded of the generational difference in attitudes among physicians and office managers about the purchasing of an EHR, as I talked with them and/or visited their offices. I needed reminding about the world of the independent physician, being in the hospital world now. EHR adoption and acceptance is still a quagmire filled with juxtapositions! Choice of system, cost, managing meaningful use (MU) and physician quality reporting initiative (PQRI) programs, lab and other interfaces, transferring patient files, and staff training are all annoying processes filled with dos and don’ts!

I visited an internist client who has not converted to EHR, despite my previous recommendations. I was told their EHR implementation has been placed on hold because their office manager quit. The former office manager is managing an EHR implementation at her new employer, I found out through other staff members.  Having a personal interest, I discovered this physician’s lack of commitment to an EHR drove the office manager to quit. The former office manager was considered by all to be young and bright! I remember that she wanted the office to implement an EHR not because of MU or patient care, but because operating an office where files are misplaced and misfiled was stupid! She felt the inefficiencies of answering pharmacy calls, looking for charts, signing into three different systems, etc. I understand leaving a practice because of non-adoption; It represents a new generation, not only embracing technology, but demanding it.

I had other experiences while touching base with old physician clients. Some have implemented an EHR, I’m happy to report, and are going after MU dollars.  However, I could not help but notice the generational gap between those that implemented, and those that were talking about it two years ago.  Of course, there were many reasons/excuses not to adopt, and some were valid. Refusing to adopt due to the threat of retirement by a long-time office manager was my favorite excuse. Sadly, the EHR generational gap also exists with users as well as physicians and it breaks my heart!


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