EMR Blogs Popping Up Everywhere

Despite my inability to post regularly on this blog as of late, I have still been doing a fair amount of reading about EMR, HIPAA and the the Healthcare IT community. I really think I need to find myself a way to get to the HIMSS conference in New Orleans this year. It would really help me. Maybe my good friends at SensibleVision would have me out there or something.

Enough digression. In my reading I’ve come across another really great EMR blog that’s really putting together some good content. It’s called Innovative IT for Healthcare and done by Calyx. It looks like the blogger is an IT consultant for Calyx that seems to have quite a bit of IT background. One thing I don’t completely understand is why these consultants would partner with Misys. I honestly have personally never used it, but my fellor moderator at EMR Update has compiled a list of people not satisfied with Misys EMR. Despite this interesting decision, the EMR blog is great.

Another blog was also started about EMR, but it seems like it has since been abandoned. That’s unfortunate. It does take a committed blogger to keep it going.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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.

10 Comments

  • Thanks for the kind words about our blog. It’s nice to see someone who knows the landscape giving us a compliment. We certainly work hard to understand what’s going on in HIT generally and EHR specifically.

    As for our Misys connection, I took a look at the comments you linked to and one thing I would point out is that many of those posts are from over 18 months ago. In the time since, Misys has come out with EMR 8.0 which has garnered accolades and awards, achieved CCHIT certification, and implemented CCR functionality.

    I certainly won’t call the testimony of those physicians into question but I would point out that Misys has an install base of over 92K physicians in more than 18K practices across the US. Certainly there is another side to the debate that, with due respect, your colleague at EMR Update is clearly not interested in entertaining.

  • . . . and here’s yet another one:

    I’ve started HealthBlawg, a health care law blog including posts on EHR / HIT , as this is clearly a hot topic for health care generally these days. The focus is on the regulatory landscape rather than the technical challenges and opportunities. I invite you to visit.

    http://healthblawg.typepad.com

  • William,
    Thanks for coming on here and posting. I’m happy to give out recognition for quality work being done. I read somewhere that there are 2 types of bloggers. Ones that give out links with the idea that we can both be great and those prideful ones that think that if you’re good that makes me look worse. I try to be like the first and share in the wealth.

    I appreciate your comments on Misys. In fact, that’s honestly why I mentioned it. I found it interesting that many people on EMRUpdate(not just one colleague) have been disheartened by Misys. However, you have actually partnered with this company. I’m not sure of your exact partnership, but certainly you think highly of Misys to display your partnership with them.

    Your post however doesn’t tell me why Misys is so much finer than other EMR’s.

    Coming out with a new version is great, but what added features/enhancements does it have to remove the previous stigmas?

    Accolades and awards aren’t worth much, but do point to comments that Misys has a GREAT marketing team. CCHIT certification is still more about marketing and says nothing about usability. In fact, in many cases it makes a product more bloatware. I can’t personally use CCHIT to say anything about Misys(even though other people certainly will). Once CCHIT is required for government reimbursement then we can talk.

    I will give Misys big props for implementing CCR. That’s not an easy task and assuming it gets adopted more widely will be a great feature for Misys.

    18k practice is a lot. However, I could name a number of other large EMR vendors with that many users despite terrible EMR’s.

    I personally have not made a judgement either way in regards to Misys. Since you say there is another side to the debate, then tell me, because despite my colleague’s lack of interest, I am VERY interested.

  • David,
    Nice to see another EMR blog on board. I think this might just prompt me to create another page for my blog listing all the EMR blogs. I could call it Ode to EMR.

    I noticed that you have a lot of law information on your blog. Would you happen to be a lawyer? I’d love to see some future posts on using digital signatures in EMR.

  • I don’t know that I would ever make the claim that “Misys is so much finer” than other EMR. There are hundreds of products to choose from. With such variation in methods of care delivery and clinical workflow, saying that one EMR is the answer for everyone is foolish – so I won’t say it. What makes Gap jeans better than Levi’s? I just like them better; they fit me better and make me more comfortable. They both have the same functionality; one just fits me better. I think with EMR, the same is true. And will continue to be true into the foreseeable future. I like to think that Calyx heightens that level of comfort by providing full-service turnkey solutions and managed infrastructure services in addition to supporting Misys products. So if I have any answer to the original question it is that Calyx makes Misys so much finer than other EMR (he says with a wink).

    As for CCHIT, I think there’s a tremendous divergence of opinions on this issue. Many believe, as you do, that CCHIT is hype. Most of those folks believe CCR is the future gold standard – which is why I mentioned it in my original comment. On the other hand, some pretty well connected (and damn smart) people that I’ve had this conversation with (Dr. Martin Harris, CIO of Cleveland Clinic) believe that CCHIT certification will precipitate a shakeout that will cut the field down drastically. I honestly don’t know the answer – I’m certain that both you (with your real-world user experience) and Dr. Harris know more about it than I do. So who’s right?

    That’s a lot of typing for a non-answer, I guess. I just can’t succinctly tell you what feature(s) set Misys (or any current EMR) apart from the pack because the top players all have the same basic functionality – and that convergence is ultimately a good thing (thank you CCHIT). When the field has been sufficiently winnowed, the question won’t be, “Does it do this? That? The other?” It will be a tool, a productivity app like Word or Excel (or whatever you prefer). Misys’ commitment to improve upon previous iterations of EMR, Tiger, and Vision reinforces my belief that they will remain a top player in that mix and, with any luck (and great marketing), Calyx can be instrumental in fostering a more flattering reputation – at least here in our neck of the woods.

    I hope that gives some insight. If not, I’d be happy to try again. Thanks again for the good word and the good work.

  • I will concede the fact that saying “so much finer” was an innapropriate question and you make a fine point that should be highlighted. In fact, I liked it so much I created a post about the subject called “Choosing the Finest EMR Out There – A Nice Sparring Partner.”

    We will have to agree to table the discussion of CCHIT at this point. I can understand some good points about CCHIT. In fact, I should probably take the time to illustrate those at some point. In fact, I agree with Dr. Martin Harris(that’s a famous name from my religion’s history) that CCHIT could certainly precipitate a shakeout that cuts the EMR field down drastically. The real question is whether that is a good or a bad thing? I’ll leave that for it’s very own post and future discussions.

    I do disagree that all the top players have the same basic functionality. I understand what you’re trying to say, but just because CCHIT says 2 EMR’s have the same functionality doesn’t mean that is the case. For example, both can schedule appointments, but one could be much more intuitive or faster for the patient(and yes that is a simplistic example).

    I do think that it is unfortunate that you can’t tell me what feature set sets Misys apart from the pack, but I’ll can see that you might not know many of the features of EMR’s other than Misys(even if I think you should and will if you keep EMR blogging). I would be interested in knowing the top 10 reasons why you think Misys is a fine an EMR application.

    I’ll preserve your comment that EMR’s will be a tool or productivity app like Word or Excel for a later blog post. Of course I think that’s impossible.

    Thanks William for the great dialogue. I couldn’t have asked for better. I just hope the long responses don’t prevent others from commenting as well.

  • I like the sparring partner metaphor. It rightly connotes the effort to better one another through striving. Well put.

    I think that your example is perfect in its simplicity. We’re saying the same thing from two different ends. They all schedule appointments, the question of which one schedules appointments in a fashion more in line with your personal preferences is best left to a full demo and some hands-on.

    I say, Misys has internal messaging so you can streamline communications with staff and minmize time wasted away from patient care. You respond, so do EMR X, Y, and Z. So we’ve established that they all have that feature in common. Now the question is, which one does it better – for me (or you or Dr. Welby). That question can’t be answered via the web, the blogosphere, or over the phone. The stake holder needs to get their hands on it and see what they think of it – that’s the true test.

    Another reason I avoid feature set comparison is that not all doctors value the same features. Before we approach a demo with a potential client, we sit down and discuss their needs and what their expectations are. What they need out of their EMR and what they expect it to do for them has a great impact on what we’ll show them. You often refer to the bloated EMR out there as “Jabba the Hutt EMR.” We get that and we understand that trying to shove all that functionality down a doctor’s throat – at a time when they’re embarking on one of the biggest changes in their career – is not helpful.

    So I guess I just resist the notion that bullet points of feature sets are all that important. What features does the individual doctor want and need? Can we provide those features? Do we do it in a way that makes sense to them? Can we deliver it with greater consistency and more comprehensive support than competing EMR? Those are the questions that I ask and on the rare occasion when I truly don’t think Misys is the solution for the practice in question, I’ll say that – I’d rather have a happy doctor who believes in our message than an unhappy client that questions our integrity.

    On that rest of that stuff, I’ll have to marinate on your take more fully to figure out what I think.

  • Perhaps what most of these comments stem from the fact a lot of the EMR systems out there are so fearfully expensive and instead of simplifying the process introduces complexities. How ever it cannot be denied that EMR systems that are user friendly and and pocket friendly are the need of the hour considering the nightmares associated with the PMR (Paper Medical Record), chiefly its notorious unavailability, illegibility, and incompleteness.

    My humble opinion is that in the endevour to build the best EMR systems, software engineers are going over the top in complicating systems to the extend that it defeats the purpose. That and the fact many don’t take the trouble of developing these products with the physician and patient in mind. Binaryspectrum’s service- oriented architecture and its processes are customized to the needs of the Health Care industry from a regulation (HIPAA, HL7 and 21 CFR 11 standards) and the ease of use perspective. We ensure HIPAA compliance in the development and implementation of Custom Medical Software.

  • I think that there are two views points to be considered when strongly advocating the use of EMR in practices. For a Doctor it needs to easy to use and save time so that more time can be spend on the patient. Currently we have many vendors with different types of EMR that are so hard to use that it simply puts them off. I think healthcare technology companies need to develop product after regular interaction with doctors to ensure that they provide just what is required. At binaryspectrum we have developed our healthcare solutions after spending countless number of hours with doctors to ensure that its work flow is kept simple and intuitive. This is then followed up with a period of Beta testing in real time environment before it is offered as a product in the market.

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