My feeling is that most medical practitioners are now confused about what EMR solution to adopt. Compounded by the multitude of available option and their lack of complete understanding about the complexity of this animal called IT, they are dazed and tangled trying to decide which is which. When I spoke to some of these physicians, their primary response was, “my husband is researching for the best solution” or “I do not know yet”. The funny thing is I asked the same doctor a year later, and she told me that her husband is still investigating it.
We cannot blame them. It can be easy for large practice groups, but implementing a complex IT project for an independent practitioner can be very tricky. EMR vendors may persuade them to buy their products and make it appear that it is a walk in the park, but what happens after that? Maintaining a system like this is even more challenging. We have to consider that even the most sophisticated software application contains bugs. We all know that most of these vendors suck with support and that technology can go haywire anytime.
How do you think these medical doctors can manage that on their own without pulling their hair out? Even a large healthcare facility may occasionally experience difficulty with these issues. If you work in a hospital IT department, you should know how complex it is to train people, troubleshoot problems, implement upgrades and support its daily functions. How do you think an independent Practitioner in the middle of the Arizona desert can handle that on their own?
I believe that the best solution for these small practices is to form a group like the IPAs (Independent Practice Association) and build their own technical support team. This will allow them to address their technological needs promptly and locally. They can build their own training staff. They can create an enterprise grade IT support structure with a robust implementation and maintenance program.
This is why Every Medical Practitioner should Realize that any EMR decision they will make today can saddle their professional career forever. It is not like buying a piece of electronics that you can easily return to Best Buy without questions asked. Switching from one EMR product to another entails tremendous cost and time.
here’s an additional reading material that supports the premise that IPA is the way to go.