Why Is Medical IT So Bad?

James C. Salwaitz | KevinMD.com | November 1, 2014

A 57-year-old doctor I know is retiring to teach at a local junior college.  He is respected, enjoys practicing medicine and is beloved by his patients; therefore, I was surprised. While he is frustrated by the complexity of health insurance, tired by the long hours and angered by defensive medicine, the final straw is that he can not stand the world of the EMR.

As an electronic medical record junkie, I would quit if I had to practice without a computerized information system.  These programs are a dramatic improvement over the paper and pen way of keeping records.  Still, I understand the onerous problems.  Data entry is clumsy, painful and takes hours.  Information is stored in a nearly random manner, not much better than papers tossed into a cardboard box.  Every EMR program is different and none share vital patient data.  Training is lousy, access is non-intuitive, support is spotty, costs are high and any gains seem to be countered by poorly timed system crashes...