American Medical Association and Research Papers Cast Doubt on EMR Effectiveness

The New York Times had a recent article casted some needed reality on what could still happen even with an EMR system. I think it is good to offer a nice dose of reality to those wanting to implement an EMR. EMR consultant will often tell you that you can make more money, treat patients more effectively and have it brew your coffee. While this can be the case(except for probably the coffee), there is always two possible outcomes for every decision. EMR is a complex decision that depends on thousands of factors. Miss an important one and you might be in trouble. Ok, now I’ll get off my EMR selection bandwagon.

The research and AMA editorial really puts an interesting perspective on how an EMR can cause bad side effects. A few examples they use is the number of screens needed to get to a prescription, the small print used for names, and system outages. I can see how these things could be concerns. However, there are solutions to these problem. The success of failure of an EMR system is more a matter of perspective than anything else. I personally feel that my implementation of an EMR system is somewhat of a failure because it doesn’t solve ALL of a clinic’s problems. The other day someone was touring our facility and they asked the Health Center director her opinion on the implementation of the EMR. She was very satisfied and very happy with EMR. That made me feel really good. I guess I can look at the EMR and know we are doing our very best with what I was given. How satisfying is that? Fantastic!!

Moral of the Story: Don’t be naive that ALL problems will be solved and an EMR won’t cause any new problems. Progress is defined as solving more problems than you create.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

1 Comment

  • It seems that you have contrasting views about the implementation of the EMR system. I strongly believe that this can be an important topic for term papers, especially for medical practicing students, considering that there are advantages and disadvantages of having an EMR system in terms of cost and work productivity.

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