'Not One Successful EHR System In Whole World'

Neil Versel | Information Week | December 17, 2012

Longtime advocate of computerizing healthcare C. Peter Waegemann calls current health IT policy 'misguided.'

While federal health IT officials were touting the perceived successes of their efforts to increase physician usage of electronic health records (EHRs), one longtime advocate of EHRs was criticizing the whole direction of health IT policy. "In my opinion, there is not one successful EHR system in the whole world," said C. Peter Waegemann, who founded and ran the Boston-based Medical Records Institute from 1984 to 2009. "User friendliness, usability, and interoperability are not there," he added in an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare.

He defined a successful EHR as one that is fully interoperable. "We have been focusing too much on documentation [for the purpose of reimbursement]," he said. This point has not been lost on the Obama administration, which has warned providers about using EHRs to "game the system." Still, Waegemann believes the administration has not been aggressive enough with its $27 billion federal Meaningful Use EHR incentive program, based on published rules for Stage 2 and early recommendations for Stage 3. "MU2 and MU3 are just small steps. They rely on old technology," Waegemann said...