re: Why Doctors Hate EHR Software
This came in by email (I asked permission to repost it here):
OK, the Docs hate their EHRs. I get it, IGÇÖm a software
person, IGÇÖve been there.
On the other hand. Healthcare was a lagging adopter of
software for years, in fact decades. The physicians werenGÇÖt in there
fighting the good fight back in the 70GÇÖs, 80GÇÖs and 90GÇÖs now were they?
Not most of them. So their software, stuff directly related to clinical
practice, is problematic. That can be attributed in part to the lack of
customers and the lack of actionable feedback going back all those decades.
Is there blame to be had in the Independent Software Vendor
(ISV) community? Sure. However here in the real world of software,
the one where I live, the software is often issued in a poor state. Then
the battle begins to improve it.
And thatGÇÖs the issue. Engagement. ItGÇÖs the
thing that has been largely missing all those decades that were lost. So
all those doctors bitching online, do they engage with the vendor? Are
they submitting bug reports and enhancement requests? Or are they just
complaining about the problems online and to any sympathetic ear they can find?
ThereGÇÖs another thing too. Your article suggests repeatedly that the government is to blame for all this. ThatGÇÖs funny, I donGÇÖt remember the government publishing any EHR/EMR software! That stuff is private sector last time I checked.
The only thing the government did was to create financial
and regulatory programs and policies. OK, they are goosing the market but
it was a market sorely in need of goosing. Left to themselves the
physician adoption rates of EMR software were pathetic.
Remember the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) wars of the
late 1990GÇÖs? Lots of ERP customers grumbled about cost, usability, vendor
lock-in, over-long implementation cycles and all the rest too. You can
say the same thing about databases, financial systems, operating systems, on and
on it goes.
Our physicians like to present themselves as a totally
unique profession, not comparable to anything or anyone else. Well IGÇÖve
worked both inside and outside of medicine. Take it from me, medicine has
far more factors in common with other industrial sectors, than factors
completely unique. The physicians are going to have to fight for better
software just like the rest of us.
That process is called capitalism. The really
incompetent products and vendors will eventually die away and better ones will
thrive. What if the physicians do not engage? Then their concerns
will be under-represented and things will not change. That sounds an
awful lot like medicineGÇÖs past and not a prescription for the future.
Senior Programmer Analyst
Alberta Health Services