EHR Stimulus Alliance Sickens Me

I previously posted about the EHR stimulus tour (no link since I don’t want to promote them). Today I saw what seems to amount to a press release that talks about the “EHR Stimulus Alliance” and their tour to “educate 500,000 U.S. physicians about opportunities aligned with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.”

This type of puffery just makes me sick. No. Not the educating 500,000 physicians. That’s a good thing and part of the motivation for this blog. The thing that makes me sick is this seems like just a big marketing campaign for Allscripts. Sure they have a list of other partners, but they’re basically partners of Allscripts. Check out the list: Allscripts, Cisco, Citrix, Dell, Intel, Intuit, Microsoft Corp., and Nuance. The press release calls it a “broad coalition of healthcare and technology companies.” Too bad Allscripts is the only true healthcare company in that list. All the others are technology companies that sell some healthcare products.

I just don’t like when an “education tool” is really just being used as a marketing tool for a certain EHR company. If they really wanted to help adoption, they’d sponsor a tour with a whole variety of EHR vendors where they can help doctors to be able to see the wide variety of EHR vendors that exist.

Someone recently emailed me about any conferences that exist for a doctor to be able to evaluate EHR companies all in one place. I know there have been a number of other ones in the past that no longer exist. The only one I know is still going is HIMSS. Does anyone else know of other places where doctors can see a bunch of great EHR? I ask this knowing that many really great EHR just haven’t seen the benefit of these types of shows.

Also, if anyone has a chance to go to one of these EHR Stimulus tour stops, I’d love to have you do a guest post on the experience. I sent them a tweet asking if they can stop in Las Vegas so I can check it out.

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.

16 Comments

  • Great post John. It is amazing the amount of attention this thing has received. Let’s see – it’s a marketing tour where doctors can learn how to get their stimulus money if they buy from a this particular group of vendors. It’s really laughable but sadly perception is reality and this is actually perceived as being a big deal.

  • Doctors just need to start talking on blogs like this. I have heard that Allscript’s EHR is not very user friendly. They have a good e-prescribing module, but the rest of their EHR is not very good. This type of “ground up” information needs to get out there so that “the big companies” with lousy EHRs don’t mess up our Healthcare System! — Jeffrey E. Epstein, MD

  • Buffy,
    Thanks for pointing it out. That looks like an interesting conference in Maryland. Rather inexpensive too. Maybe that’s where it really needs to be done is by various societies and organizations around the country.

  • Steve,
    I’ve given Allscripts marketing department credit a number of times. It’s just too bad smart people can’t see that this is basically a sales pitch with good branding. Or at least a way to gather names for a later sales pitch.

  • Dr. Epstein,
    I’m doing what I can to get the word out. Anything you can do to help get more people the word is appreciated.

  • John – I own an IT consulting firm that focuses on infrastructure. My healthcare clients, mostly small private practices, are desperate for more information about the topics of ARRA/HITECH and EMR in general. I’m searching for a speaker for a to-be-scheduled seminar this summer. If you’re interested, or know someone who may be, please let me know.

  • Joe,
    I’ll send you an email about your seminar. I was just thinking that it would be good to have a few more speaking engagements.

    Summer does seem like a good time frame since at that point we should know better how they’re going to define “certified EHR” and “meaningful use.”

  • John, here’s something you might find interesting in an ornery way – sort of like hearing a doorbell and noticing a burning paper bag on a front porch.

    If you googlesearch “Glen Tullman,” A comment titled “Glen Tullman, CEO for Allscripts disappoints D. Kellus Pruitt DDS” (that would be me) appears around his number 10 hit, persistently returning to his first page for months now. The content of the comment has healthy, natural appeal – otherwise it would have never been able to defeat the tricks of some of the best search engine experts in the nation, again and again.

    I am not ashamed to say that it would really tickle me to see the comment’s popular momentum push it on up to his number 1 hit, and remain there forever. I am admittedly biased, but nevertheless, I think if Tullman wakes up on Monday morning to see my challenging, taunting comment as his first hit, I think he’ll spill his Cheerios.

    Forget about helping me giggle, I think pulling off such a trick would send numerous good ol’ boys a message from disappointed Americans who Allscripts’ (CCHIT’s) policy affects the most – doctors and patients. It is obvious to me that if we do not take the responsibility to demand accountability from bozos like Tullman, we have no representation at all. That will suit Glen Tullman just fine.

    All I’m asking is that you click on this link and spend a couple of minutes there as if you were reading it. That will do more than anything to move it on up to number one, spoiling someone’s breakfast.
    http://community.pennwelldentalgroup.com/forum/topics/glen-tullman-ceo-of-allscripts?page=1&commentId=2013420%3AComment%3A22103&x=1#2013420Comment22103

    Since you’re there anyway, you might as well read it. Lot’s of people already have. I bet Tullman himself read it once.

    Thanks, D. Kellus Pruitt

  • D. Kellus Pruitt,
    You make some interesting comments about Glen Tullman. I’d seen them before. Although, I don’t think I’m nearly as harsh as you are on Glen Tullman. I think he’s the CEO of a public company having to answer to his shareholders. Not a pretty job and one I never plan to have personally.

    Certainly it’s not pretty for me that Glen was (is?) a huge HIT advisor to Obama among other things. It wreaks of conflict of interest. I’ve discussed this before.

    Personally though, I don’t hold that against Glen. He’s just doing his job. If anything I hold Obama more accountable for the choice.

    At the end of the day, Allscripts and Glen Tullman are going to keep rolling forth and capturing EHR market share as fast as they can. We should expect nothing less than this from them.

  • John, I am one blogger who appreciates your courage to post my admittedly over-the-edge post on your blog. As one can probably tell, I was in an irritable-feisty mood yesterday. I posted a similar note on Randy Duermyer’s home business blog and I suppose it was a little too much for him. After all, his is a more domestic audience. I think your blog actually has some sports fans mixed among them.

    If you don’t mind me saying so, you sound defeated. You seem to apologize for Tullman’s rudeness, as if he is not compensated well enough for the burden he has to bear.

    “I think he’s the CEO of a public company having to answer to his shareholders. Not a pretty job.”

    John, you nailed the problem right to Tullman’s pretty brown nose. He answers to stockholders and not to those who must pay for and use his products. How can economics in healthcare IT possibly get any worse? Think about it. Where is the accountability?

    “At the end of the day, Allscripts and Glen Tullman are going to keep rolling forth and capturing EHR market share as fast as they can. We should expect nothing less than this from them.”

    John, is that what you really wanted to say? As a healthcare provider who may eventually have to purchase Glen Tullman’s expensive and dangerous products – not to improve dental patients’ care (because they won’t), but to make MISYS stockholders happy – I ask you not to scare me like that. Please.

    If you feel that way, that could mean others are clueless as well.

    D. Kellus Pruitt DDS

  • I wouldn’t say it’s courage. It’s your opinion and this is a forum where people are welcome to share differing opinions.

    I’m definitely not defeated. I personally consider myself a realist. I don’t think any apology is needed. My point is the same as yours. I feel no need to apologize for him since he is just doing his job. That’s why he gets compensated well for doing a job that I wouldn’t want to be doing.

    I’m actually not a healthcare “provider” but a tech person that helps healthcare providers use IT systems. I guess I’m not against Allscripts software product as much as you are. I don’t know enough about their specific products to have that strong of an opinion.

    Regardless of my good or bad opinions of Allscripts, my comments highlight the fact that Allscripts is going to sell a large number of EMR systems. They are far too large and their marketing is far too good. If your fear is that others are clueless about the EMR market (not just Allscripts), then you should be very afraid.

    Just to highlight my point, I’ve been blogging about EMR for 3+ years and I still feel like I only know a small portion of the EMR market.

  • I am a CIO and MD for a large single specialty practice, as well as on a advisory board for our local community hospital which will be rolling out a community wide ehr.

    For the past 2 years our committee has been looking at the major vendors in the ehr market.

    We had Epic, GE, and Nextgen (alpha order) in our final matrix.

    We looked at Allscripts carefully. Their implementation of prescriptions was excellent, as one might expect from their background, but the product as seen in the demos and site visits was deficient in physician workflow areas. I think they need to get a lot more input from physicians in a busy practice and make major usability improvements before they are in the class of the 3 vendors listed above. Great start, not yet quite there, hope for improvement along the way.

  • charles,
    I think your mistake is that you’re only looking at the major EHR vendors. There are some real advantages to working with a smaller, but established EHR vendor. Talk about support response times, your feature requests, etc.

    That said, I really appreciate your point of view on Allscripts versus the other EHR vendors you mention. I hope you’ll continue to comment on this site. Your input is appreciated.

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