Reasons Small Practices Aren’t Implementing an EHR

I’m sad that I didn’t see this list until now. Mike Gleason provides an interesting list of reasons why small practices aren’t implementing an EHR as fast as we’d like them to implement. Here’s his list of 10 reasons:

War Stories
No one wants to go first
Product not perfected yet
Waiting on Govt mandates
Waiting on hospital install or Stark gift
I have people for that

A really great list. Mike also discusses each of these points. As time permits I’d love to take some of his points and write some comments on each.

More important for this post, I wondered what other reasons might be missing from this list. Here’s a few others that I came up with:

I’m retiring soon
I don’t like computers (similar to “Computers Scare Me”)
Commitment problems (can’t decide on which EHR system)

Those last couple sound a lot like why many people don’t get married. Pretty interesting since I’ve compared implementing an EMR to marriage multiple times. Any other reasons for not implementing an EMR that we’ve missed?

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.


  • The big reasons are that it takes a lot of time, effort and money. In the end you are not sure what you are getting. Will it save you time or lengthen your day? Will your staff like it? How much time and training will it take? What if you take the time and spend the money and then you don’t like it? What if it decreases your productivity? How do you get your paper charts into your new system? Will your vendor “steal” your records if you uninstall and want to change to a new vendor? Bottom line is that our current paper based systems works ok for us and we are confused about “a” future with “an” electronic medical record! Huge risk, Big Expense … not sure about payoff … and confused about options. Add to this toxic mix … we have all heard the horror stories from our colleagues and we have only gotten “luke-warm” endorcements from our colleagues who have and EMRs and “kind of” like them.

  • Jeff,
    You make such a compelling argument to implement an EMR though.

    I think luke warm reviews of EMR is the best description of most doctors EMR implementations.

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