Potential Doctor Misgivings About EMR Stimulus Money

I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot of doctors looking at the pile of $18 billion and have a strong internal debate about implementing an EMR or not. They’ll feel like they should implement an EMR by utilizing the EMR stimulus money from the HITECH Act (ARRA). However, deep down in the pit of their stomachs, they’ll have huge misgivings about it all. Many will end up regretting it later.

That’s why I keep hammering home the idea that you should implement an EMR on its own merits and not worry so much about EMR stimulus money. There is a huge list of potential EMR benefits that don’t include government money.

Kind of reminds me of the feeling you get when you hear someone peddling some get rich quick scheme. You kind of have that feeling that if you pass up this $18 billion carrot that you’re going to be a fool and wish you took advantage of it. However, deep in the pit of your stomach there’s a feeling that everything doesn’t feel quite right.

I really think that the only way to avoid this feeling is to focus on implementing an EMR that will provide a number of benefits to your clinic regardless of ARRA stimulus money.

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.


  • Great post. I am a long-time reader of your blog. I couldn’t agree more, and adopt sooner rather than later!

    We started about 5 years ago. We’re a small place. It was absolute hell. We pulled our hair out. We made every mistake EMR bloggers now warn new adopters not to make.

    But now, we’re ahead of the curve, we’re kicking out amazing reports we never would have dreamed of in the days of chart pulls, we’re doing statistical analysis, we’re tracking our scores over time, and the list goes on. We still pull our hair out occasionally, but that is now the exception.

    Another set of reasons to adopt EMR, and sooner rather than later, are the reasons that are beyond the horizon. With the rate of change continuing to accelerate in the health care industry, along with our body of medical knowledge, I see a day where a person’s care plan is simply going to be too complex for a human brain alone to work out all the contributing factors. Sometimes I think we’ve already reached that point and haven’t quite realized it yet.

  • Steven,
    I love the authenticity in your comment. You can tell you’re really someone who’s implemented and used an EMR. People should listen to you when you say, “adopt sooner rather than later!” They should NOT listen to an EMR vendor who says the same thing. In fact, I’d argue that any EMR vendor who says those words to you should be avoided.

    I absolutely love your concept of the body of medical knowledge being “too complex” for us to work it all out. I like it so much, I think I’m going to have to highlight in a post of it’s own so that others can read it. It also reminds me of a post I did a while back about the possible long term benefits of broad EHR implementation: https://www.healthcareittoday.com/2009/01/30/the-real-benefits-of-emr/

    The basic concept being that we won’t know the real benefits of EHR adoption until we have a platform for smart people to be really creative.

    Thanks for coming out of the world of lurkers and commenting on this post. I hope you’ll do it more often.

  • When I say “sooner rather than later,” that’s just the bull-headed optimism talking. Cheers!

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