Story Sounds Better Saying the EHR Stimulus Will Work

I’ve been reading a lot of news stories all over the web talking about how great the $18 billion of EHR funding is going to be. They talk about the savings in health care (which are desperately needed) and the saved lives thanks to EHR. Most of them talk about the amazing increase in EHR adoption that will occur and how this money will bring doctors into the 21st century.

I’ll admit that it’s a really nice story to tell. The idea is great and I really hope that it does work like they’re describing. However, I wonder if that story is being told, because it just sounds better.

It sure is a lot more fun to hope and write that this is a new age of EHR adoption. Unfortunately, I think a lot of media people are just grabbing onto whatever story they find and aren’t really doing research on whether the HITECH act is going to be a fairytale ending or not.

Suffice it to say, I’m not that optimistic about the $18 billion being helpful. I am optimistic about EHR adoption and the benefits of EHR. Just not the way the HITECH act is trying to encourage it.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, 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.


  • Yea… mainstream media laps up everything the Administration does… and the vendors and infoexchange collectives are spinning up the wires too.

    Reviewed a Rand report from 2005 last week. Said that inpatient EHR will cost 1.8-3% of annual operating cost, 4 years to fully implement, and 30% of the implementation cost as an annual recurring cost. OUCH!

    Then AHA reports now closer to 15% (~$700k) of capital expenses to implement and 2% operating expenses ($1.7mil). OUCH OUCH

    Somehow I’m betting one set or the other are wrong.

  • It’s funny, because average cost of an EMR is such a hard thing to explain. There is every price under the sun and so many other factors like size of practice that can change the costs of an EMR.

  • John… Just to complete your library here’s the PDF (ha ha) link to the 2005 Rand study: Please feel free to pour deeply into the regression analysis charts they include which they used to figure out their numbers. Don’t worry, I didn’t print it out so didn’t kill any trees. That’s the only upside I see though. My only fear is that someone actually read it and is using it to decide something.

  • And to add to an additional, recent article about the uncertainty of EMR adoption via the stimulus package: <a href=”” .

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