ED Physician Executive Slams EHRs

Scott Mace | HealthLeaders Media | January 28, 2014

Electronic health records "are not effective communications tools—not effective at all," says a self-avowed technology optimist who holds a dim view of current EHR capabilities, but has hopes for better systems to come.

Prentice Tom, MD, doled out some bitter medicine to a room full of healthcare IT vendors—and, I think, government regulators at the Northern California HIMSS Innovation and Technology Summit this month.

Tom, the lead speaker at the Silicon Valley event and a self-avowed technology optimist, shared his unvarnished assessment of current electronic medical records. They "are not effective communications tools—not effective at all."

I first encountered Tom about two years ago when he rose at a conference to challenge an HHS official about the inefficiency that electronic medical records were creating in his organization, CEP America. One of the largest emergency medicine groups in the country, CEP supplies emergency physicians to hospitals from California to Maryland.