Ugly EMR Programs

I’ve had the chance recently to demo a number of different EMR programs. One thing I’ve found is that there are a lot of EMRs that are just downright ugly. Yes, I know they are fully functional, a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover, man looks on the outward appearance the lord looks on the heart and all that. I also agree that a pretty EMR that isn’t functional vs. an ugly EMR that functions is a no brainer. However, there are a number of functional EMR’s that are very attractive also.

Think about this. I believe that having a workstation(tablet or desktop doesn’t matter) in the exam room is the best and most efficient way to document a visit with an EMR. In fact, my friend JCP has a picture up showing his patient watching him chart in his EMR. Maybe you aren’t as open as JCP, but either way patients are going to see your EMR screen. Some of the EMRs I’ve demoed looked like they came out of the 70’s. I hate the idea that a doctor spends a large sum of money purchasing a brand new EMR and they receive something that looks old. Does the patient really care? Maybe not so much, but I believe it does create a certain impression as to your level of professionalism. In fact, if functionality is comparable then the pretty product is definitely going to win.

EMR Vendors: I think that looks are important for an EMR and a good professional graphic artist is worth every penny you pay them.

EMR Users: Functionality is more important than looks, but the way your EMR looks will give a good or bad impression to your patients. What kind of impression do you want to give?

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.