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Preventable Issues Arise When Paper Documentation is Used

It’s an unfortunate truth that the health care system is not fool proof, and mistakes happen. Many of these mistakes happen because of paperwork that is lost, unreadable, or misplaced. Even with the implementation of EMRs across the country, many healthcare providers are still relying on paper for many aspects of their practice. Referral MD created an infographic that shows some of the current problems in healthcare related to using paper documents:

Pretty scary, if you ask me. Doctor’s are notorious for having terrible handwriting, but 7000 patients die a year because of it? And 30 percent of tests have to be reordered because the orders were misplaced? These statistics are startling, in large part because they are preventable. Those are only two of the facts presented in this infographic, and in combination with everything else, it makes me wonder why anyone that has an EMR would still use paper, and why the practices that don’t use EMRs haven’t started. It makes me not want to trust the system even more.

I can see how patients and doctors alike may find it hard to switch over. When I wasn’t given a physical, paper prescription to take to the pharmacy to get my son’s medication, I was a bit taken back, but it made things so much easier when I actually arrived at the pharmacy. I compare that to the many prescriptions and lab orders I lost during my pregnancy because I set it down and forgot to pick it up again, never to find it again until months later while doing some cleaning. It made me really wish my OB/GYN had electronic documents more incorporated into his practice. I’m curious to see if he has any EMR at all. Since he’s been a doctor for 40+ years, maybe he’s having a hard time making the switch.

It’s one thing if a person dies from a terminal illness, but to pass away because of a preventable mistake is uncalled for. I realize that no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. But when a mistake could mean someone dying, a patient’s information being misused, or a HIPAA violation occurring, something is wrong. Hopefully as EMRs become better and more practices have them, paper documentation will become a thing of the past, and these mistakes, breeches, and all other issues that are related to using paper, will go that way as well.

November 5, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

90% of Doctors Expect to Have EHR Within 3 Years per USA Today

@ElinoreBoeke – Elinore Boeke
90% of surveyed doctors expect to have EHRs within three years usat.ly/tSgBNG #HealthIT #EHR via @USATODAY

The survey also sets EHR adoption at 46% and quotes someone saying there are 1000 EHR software vendors out there. Well, I think all of those numbers are way off.

First, expect that doctors won’t meet their expectations cause 90% of doctors won’t have EHR within 3 years.

Second, I think we’re closer to 25-30% adoption. 46% probably includes a lot of people who have a PMS, but no real EMR. Maybe they do 1 or 2 small EHR like function.

Third, 1000 EHR software vendors, really? Even if you expand to things like ePrescribing I’d put the number closer to 600. If you take out the partial EHR software companies, I think it’s closer to 300. Granted, there are more and more EHR software coming out each day.

November 30, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Slow Rise of EHR Adoption

I love all the discussion that happens around EHR adoption. The funny thing about it all is that we honestly don’t really know. We don’t have any really solid number, because there’s no good way to measure EHR adoption. Plus, I think that we’d see drastically different EHR adoption trends based on location, practice size and specialty.

However, I think one thing is clear: EHR adoption has gone quite slow.

I read someone today talking about slow EHR adoption even in the midst of billions of dollars of incentives from the government. I think this is true. Even with all that money out there, doctors are still not adopting EHR software in droves.

Part of me says that this is a good thing. I think the worst thing that can happen to EHR is for a doctor who doesn’t want an EHR to adopt one. If they’re not on board with the idea of an EHR, then they just make work miserable for themselves and everyone around them. I see buy-in for an EHR implementation as the key determining factor for success of an EHR implementation. So, I don’t think we can force the issue.

As I consider this point, I was trying to think what movement or trend could make doctors want to implement an EHR in their clinic. One that popped into my head was insurance companies requiring use of an EHR. I know very few cash only doctors out there, so if they had to use an EHR to get their insurance payments, we’d see a drastic change in physicians perspective on EHR. Sure, some would still not like it, but they’d do it. I just don’t really see the path to where insurance companies will do this.

Another method will be if doctors start losing patients because they don’t have an EHR. We’re still a ways from this I think. I don’t think it’s clear in the consumer mind the benefits to them as a patient for the doctor to use an EHR. They’re going to get their prescription (or other healthcare service) either way. Should there be a new field on insurance companies list of providers that says “EHR User”?

What other trends could happen that would make EHR adoption basically a requirement to stay in business as a doctor? Thoughts on what could turn the tide. It seems the HITECH carrot and stick still isn’t totally moving the needle.

September 21, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

EHR Market Expected to Reach $6 Billion by 2015

I know how much readers of this site love the various EHR market numbers. So, I know you’ll find this tweet I saw today very interesting.


EMR Market Expected to Reach $6B by 2015 http://nblo.gs/jTGbq
@PFSocialMedia
Shea Steinberg

$6 billion by 2015. Of course, the question then must be asked, how can the government spend $36 billion on EHR incentive money, but the EHR market will only reach $6 billion? Something doesn’t quite jive between those two numbers.

July 1, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Docs Tell Congress EHR Adoption Presents Serious Challenge


Docs Tell Congress EHR Adoption Presents Serious Challenge http://bit.ly/lVApvO #healthIT
@Health_IT
Adrian Yeoh

I was intrigued when I saw this tweet as I’m sure you were when you saw the title of this post. However, I’m kind of embarrassed by what these doctors reported to Congress. Here’s one excerpt from the article linked above:

“As I investigated the system, I was astounded at the costs. An upfront fee of $5,000 per doctor, an installation fee of $2,000 per office, and then a monthly maintenance fee totaling $7,200 annually per doctor,” Elliott explained.

What EHR software is Dr. Elliott looking at? Those prices are too high. There are plenty of much less expensive certified EHR options out there. Not to mention a number of Free EHR options as well.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sympathetic to the challenge that EHR adoption is for a medical practice. However, the testimony that’s given by these people to Congress has more to do with poor EHR selection practices than it has to do with the actual issues of implementing an EHR in their medical practice.

I’ve been harping for years, and providing free EHR selection tools and information, to help improve EHR selection. It’s really the biggest threat to broad EHR adoption.

June 9, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Market Grew $15.7 Billion in 2010


The Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Big Bucks In 2010, the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) market grew $15.7 Billion. http://tiny.ly/v36X
@1psychotherapy
Lisa Neill

In the report cited, Kalomara indicated that the EMR market grew to $15.7 billion in 2010 — a 13.6% increase over the previous year. Kalomara originally predicted a 15% growth rate for the EMR market year-over-year in 2009 and 2010 (the market grew 10% in 2009 according to the firm).

Kalomara reports that the slower pace of EMR adoption was a result of confusion on the part of physicians about meaningful use guidelines. The firm also believes that much of this uncertainty was dispelled last summer when the final rules for Meaningful Use guidelines were published. Kalomara expects accelerated EMR adoption and market growth over the next 24 months as a result. Based on the findings of the report, the firm expects 18-20% market growth in the EMR sector in 2011 and 2012.

Here’s the link to the actual report. Only costs you $3,500. Wow! Seems like I need to write a report.

Report business aside, those are some interesting numbers. I do wish that they broke it out by ambulatory EHR and hospital EHR. The hospital numbers likely dwarf the ambulatory ones and then we don’t get a good feel of how ambulatory is really doing.

May 3, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.