My Theory of 5 EMR Systems

I personally have a theory on doctors selecting an EMR system. I call it “My Theory of 5.” It goes like this.

I believe that after a short discussion with a doctor’s office, I could give them a list of 5 EMR systems to evaluate. My guarantee is that Any of the 5 suggested systems can work for their doctor’s office. Furthermore, I also guarantee that every one of those 5 EMR systems will cause them a certain number of headaches and challenges. However, in the end if they are willing to adapt and learn the new system, they will be happy they decided to use an EMR.

It’s a pretty simple system that I’ve only used one time. That’s why I call it a theory. It worked well for the doctor that used it. I gave him a list of 5 systems to evaluate. We talked a couple times about the advantages and disadvantages of each system and he selected the system that he liked best. I didn’t personally care which system he chose, because I knew people who had successfully implemented all 5 systems. Therefore, he was just choosing which system he thought would best fit his style of practice.

Many people may note that this isn’t revolutionary. These people aren’t the ones that are just starting to evaluate the 1000s of EMR vendors out there. I guess the other option is to spend a year and countless hours evaluating hundreds of EMR systems just to have most of those people probably end up choosing one of the 5 EMR systems I would have recommended in the first place.

One Final Note: The theory of 5 will not work if a doctor isn’t fully committed to implementing an EMR. I’ve told a couple doctors that they weren’t ready for an EMR and so I wouldn’t work with them. Thankfully I have the luxury to do so. I could tell their hearts weren’t in it and so it wasn’t worth my time and effort to drag them kicking and screaming through the EMR process.

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.


  • I agree with your post. System selections that take some time are not bad as they educate the purchaser not only about products, but also about their responsibilities as system owners. It also provides time to refine and build consensus around the goals for the implementation. I have also seen it mold the scope for an implementation.

  • Can you list some EMR’s for Windows platform that you would recommend for a doctor in private practice who sees up to 50 people a day?
    Thank you,

  • Lesley,
    I’ve put together a small list of some of the EMR’s that I’m at least somewhat familiar with. For a more customized list, an analysis of your methods of practicing medicine, personal needs and wants and current technical situation would need to be evaluated. As you can imagine, this type of customized list definitely comes with a price.

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