Are EHRs Being Used to Stifle Physicians?

Marla Durben Hirsch | FierceEMR | February 9, 2012

Many physicians have been reluctant to embrace electronic health record systems, with concerns about their costs, usability and impact on workflow.

But is physician Adam Sharp, chief medical officer at healthcare start-up par80 and former CMO for online physician network Sermo, correct in stating that the real reason physicians should be leery of EHRs is that the technology is being thrust on physicians to control how doctors practice?

The goal of EHRs is to "wrestle control of healthcare away from the doctor-patient relationship into the hands of third parties who can then implement their policies by simply removing a button or an option in the EMR," he writes in a blog post.

He also argues that the "ulterior motive" of EHRs ultimately is to hurt patients, who have less opportunity to obtain the "care they want and need." The implication is that EHRs steer physicians to more limited, presumably less expensive treatment options and that if the pricier options were on the EHR drop down list physicians would gravitate toward those...