Electronic Health Records - Expensive, Disruptive And Here To Stay

Nicole Fisher | Forbes.com | March 18, 2014

Physicians have more to do these days and it has nothing to do with treating patients. Although staff shortages and increasing need for care are time consuming for providers and add responsibilities, the real culprit of lost work time, especially for Emergency Room physicians, is electronic health records (EHR). The need to make sure every interaction is digitally recorded for a patient’s personal archive is a necessity of improving care and future regulation, nevertheless it is also disruptive to health providers and systems spanning the country.

Jonathan Handler, MD, FACEP, Chief Medical Information Officer at M*Modal says that modern EHRs are often overly focused on data entry and typically provide poorly designed data displays with rudimentary functions for searching and organizing patient data. The data entry steals physician time away from direct patient care, and that is what’s driving physician dissatisfaction.” EHRs are also exceptionally expensive, sometimes costing millions in technology, education and lost time, as well as presently remaining incomplete.

Despite claims from the Secretary of Health and Human Services that great progress has been made, other federal agencies assert that there is a long way to go and measurements for EHR success are impossible. Nevertheless, with Accenture forecasting that the U.S. EHR market will hit $9.3 billion with a 7% annual growth rate by the end of 2015,  and federal requirements to comply, EHRs are not going anywhere...