EMR Adoption Rates Increasing – Why Are Doctors Adopting EMR’s Now?

Dr. Rob Lamberts recently blogged about how EMR adoption is finally reaching a point where the media is covering it more and people are actually adopting the technology. It was interesting to see how he thought that they were near this point 10 years ago and yet was wrong. Here’s his reasons why he thought we are now ready to embrace EMR:

1. Technology is finally mainstream. Most doctors have computers in their homes with broadband connections. That could not be said 10 years ago. Most Americans have shopped online (some of us prefer it), send e-mail regularly, and even blog (although the latter is reserved for the real geeks!) 10 years ago it was still novel to use computers, now they are a regular part of our lives.
2. Computers are faster. This allows applications such as voice recognition, and allows for much more complex functions of the EMR (such as disease management) without causing a serious slow-down workflow.
3. Memory. Now we can scan and store huge amounts of documents without worrying about using up memory.
4. More mature EMR products. A lot of this is due to the integration of the internet into the products, allowing much of the content to be outsourced. The programming languages (such as Java, XML, and AJAX) are also a lot faster, requiring less processor to accomplish tasks.
5. A new generation of decision makers. Doctors who are in their 40’s and 50’s are now more computer friendly than they were in the past. These are generally the decision makers in a practice.
6. Pioneers have arrived in California.

Let me explain that last one. I see those of us who were early adopters of EMR as being like the pioneers going out west. We did not have a map and did not know what the place we were going to was like, but we had the belief that it would make our lives better. There were many casualties along the way (which prevented others from wanting to try the journey), but some of us got there and are finally prospering. Now we can give the best route to California and cause people to get here without as much peril as we underwent. We can send a map.

I loved the California example because if you think about many of the early EMR adopters you realize that they were looking for Gold. However, the Gold was in the form of seeing more patients, higher reimbursement rates and other effeciencies gained by using an EMR. I’m sure a number of them found this rare “Gold”, but like in the California Gold rush I think that many EMR adopters and espescially the early adopters pioneered ground at great loss to them. However, because of their loss we are all better able to use an EMR now. Thank you EMR pioneers.

While I think Dr. Lamberts has a pretty good list I think there is one glaring reason missing from his list. So, here’s my number 1 reason for more widespread EMR adoption:

The cost of servers and technology in general is significantly less.

10 years ago a server would often cost $20,000 with a slow processor, a small hard drive and very little RAM. Thanks to Dell(and I’m sure many others) you can now buy a server with Windows Small Business server for $3000-$4000. That’s an incredible offer. Install linux instead of windows and you have even greater savings. A desktop can easily be bought for around $500 these days. I believe hese lowered costs is the biggest reasons EMR’s are becoming much more common.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, 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, EXPO.health, 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.


  • Your website is beautifully decorated and easily navigated. I have enjoyed visiting this site today and hope to visit many more times in the future.

  • I am pleased to see that someone finally has published something positive re: EMR/EHR’s , and now my question is, how do I get my Product (the first Portable USB EMR Medi-Chip) recognized by you or HIT?
    I have been trying to bring the benefits of my Medi-Chip and program to light of the medical community for the past year+ and keep getting stone walled. I believe, no I know after many tests, my product can assist the others you tout here in helping to save lives, increase patient load, and increase a physicians/office’s bottom line all while benefiting the patient, which after all is the main goal.
    Every positive statement you make only helps to prove what I have been saying and doing for the past 6 years and boosts my confidence in my product but yet how do I get heard? I keep saying I, because i am fighting the battle alone due to the fact that i am a small company in a sea of Giants, some so big that they can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel or if they do, they think it is a train trying to derail them.
    I am willing to provide my ideas and proven program to all that wish to partake of it and help those physicians that really want to HELP their patients. Because I am willing to provide it free to all that want it and back it up with updates and IT assistance for as long as needed.
    Please tell me who I can talk to, write to or call, or perhaps you would like to contact me–norman@sgmscorp.com (305)936-9018 it is that easy.
    Keep up the great work.. and thank you
    Norman Eisenberg PA, President /Founder SGMS Corp, Key2Life

  • Norman,
    Good question that a lot of companies are asking themselves. How does a small company get seen and heard a midst all the noise. I’m not sure I have a good answer for you.

    The key question for me is to try and find something unique. A general our company is unique doesn’t usually do too well. You classify yourself as an EMR, which is a bad idea since looking at your website you’re not an EMR (electronic medical record) like most of us have been talking about for a long time. Plus, if you say you’re an EMR, you’re competing with the 600 other EMR companies out there. Then, you’re really talking about the big boys. Although, even the EMR (Emergency Medical Record) that you have I’ve seen at least a half a dozen similar companies.

    Considering the competition, it’s definitely hard to differentiate yourself. Although, differentiate you must. Do you have better distribution? Do you have a better way to get my record electronic (since I’m not doing data entry)? Do you have a huge partner that’s going to give you the launch ramp to be able to make a go of your idea? I’m sure I could go on and on.

    Most important to remember is that there are a lot of advantages to being a small company. You should take those and use them to your advantage.

    Of course, there’s another tried and true way to get exposure and name recognition for your company. I have a number of advertising opportunities: https://www.healthcareittoday.com/advertise-on-emr-and-hipaa/

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