NYT article on EMR profitability

An unsurprising NYT article about the undelivered promise of electronic medical records.

This apparent lack of financial benefit probably has some legs.  The fact that records become electronic is irrelevant if the underlying medical practices and workflows are inefficient.  Part of our role in developing Ankhos has been to either 1. Fit the workflow of the office or 2. Develop software around what the practice (The people: nurses, MDs, admins) want the workflow to be. The workflow will then morph to fit the space granted by the software.

I am certain that the fantastic savings are not being seen in the greater industry because they are using software that constrains them, not sets them free. You can blame HIPAA, HITECH and… the incentive money.

The MU incentive money is really just a flashy hand-wave to distract from the 2015 medicare cuts that are coming. It also allows software companies to sell software to unprepared and under-informed doctors that will only hurt their practices. I don’t smell malfeasance, just incompetence or more likely ignorance.

It is likely the case that EMR/EHR are not the profit panacea because the connection between EMR and profit is correlation, not causation. I believe it is good old fashioned leadership and employee engagement that drive success, not some computer program.

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