Doctor Provides New Meaning for “Meaningful Use”

I recently had a comment on my post about meaningful use that I thought was well worth sharing as a post of its very own. Unfortunately, this situation happens far too often. Notice that it seems the IT part of the equation is as important as the EMR part of the equation. I welcome other people to share their experiences with an EMR (good and bad) in the comments.

I’m a meaningful EHR user, I’m family doctor caring for 1700 patients and working long hours in my small private practice office.

Since I introduced HIT and EHR in my practice my costs hit the roof and after two years I see more problems then before.

I had to earn to pay the nurse before, and now I have to pay the program solution, consultants, cartriges and toners, paper etc..

My nurse got nervous breakdown because of slow, noisy, paper eating printer.

Patients got confused, lacking eye conntact with me, their family doctor bacause I got to type down the data to please quality and finnancial analysis supervisor whom I don’t know in person but I know he exists because my data somehow get lost, erased, modified (I’m connected to Central Electronic Data Collection Analyser via internet).

My patient’s EHR get lost too,so I need a specialy licenced IT consultant to help me digg the EHR from the bottom of data barrel.

All this is due to policy of lowering costs in healthcare.

Recently I found out that my work costs less, I have to work more to earn for living, and paying the army of IT somebodies who “controll” me.

Hail to that!!

Natalija

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.

8 Comments

  • I hate to hear about all the money doctors are spending on IT people for their EMR. I feel doctors/consultants aren’t researching for the right EMR solution that FITS their SPECIFIC needs. There are so many different types of EMRs like hybrids and web based solutions to choose from. There are many sites available that aid doctors in choosing an EMR that fits their specific needs….

    so sad…should have gone with webdmemr

  • Lourdes,
    Regardless of which EMR you choose there are still IT people and costs involved. Certainly selection of the right EMR could have possibly helped the situation above, but so could having chosen the right IT person.

    Of course, your last line is a bit too much of a sales pitch, but I’ll let it slide if you describe how webdmemr would solve each of the issues listed above. I’ll even provide a list of challenges for easy reference:
    -Cost of EHR
    -Cost of program solution, consultants, cartriges and toners, paper etc.
    -Old printer
    -Lack of patient doctor eye contact
    -Lost data in an EMR
    -Cost of IT support

  • I do not support webdmemr, however will take a shot at some of these issues.

    “My nurse got nervous breakdown because of slow, noisy, paper eating printer.”
    (Assuming we ignore obvious printer issues)
    Hopefully they are describing the printing of documents such as Patient Instructions/Careplans for the patient as they leave the office, as there is no real reason to print any other type of documents. E-prescribing, internal fax management, and portals have allowed offices to go paperless – or more realistically, paper-light.

    “Patients got confused, lacking eye conntact with me, their family doctor bacause I got to type down the data”
    Some system’s have terribly laid out templating methods – point blank. This must be investigated prior to purchase and compared to other EMRs. Secondly, the fact that they are typing tells me they possibly have an inflexible system that does not allow for variations in documentation. Not only that, but does it not have the ability to work with voice recognition software for those more personal parts of the visit (CC, HPI, plan)? Or does it also not have the ability to upload the same forms the physician has been using for years, to then be used in conjunction with a tablet?

    “…my data somehow get lost, erased, modified (I’m connected to Central Electronic Data Collection Analyser via internet).”
    This sounds like an experimental data mining method in my opinion. Host your own data and utilize the mining capabilities that come with any respectable EMR.

  • Thanks John,

    If you read my post, you may have noticed that I made no specific claims. On the contrary, I advise that all solutions should be taken into account when making a purchase decision. And of course I will pitch my EMR at if the opportunity presents itself. As far as IT goes, it all depends on the network structure of a given practice/hospital. A web-based solution is however, more ecomonic when comparing related IT costs.

    Thanks for the Shout Out John!

  • Lourdes,
    You don’t call “so sad…should have gone with webdmemr” a specific claim? That’s a specific claim that the person described above would have been better with your EMR. I was just interested in how your claim could be substantiated based on the problems this person had (which are not that unique). You should be able to make some interesting generalizations from past implementations of your EMR, no?

    No doubt web based EMR are more economic when comparing IT costs alone even if web based EMR require a more reliable and sometimes faster internet connection. That said, there are also a lot of other factors in determining the right choice. It’s no wonder people have a hard time selecting an EMR.

  • Brian,
    I like the idea of “paper-light” since “paperless” is a myth.

    I think the data loss in this situation sounds a little more than just data mining. It sounds like the data wasn’t displaying right from the database. I have a feeling many places would just think the data was lost and work to recreate it. They wouldn’t spend the time paying an IT person to try and find the data somewhere in the database (or possibly in an older backup).

  • Hello John!
    Well if you insist….
    1. Cost of EHR —- WebDMEMR is one of the most inexpensive web based EHRs in the market. We use customized billing so health care providers only pay for what they use.. no flat monthly rate.

    2. Cost of Program Solution, consultants, cartridges, and toners, paper, etc —— WebDMEMR is proud to provide customers with free 24/7 support. As far as paper usage….ITS AN EHR! Why would there be an increased expense in printing materials? A previous reply made a good point, EHRs don’t eliminate paper, however they do substantially decrease its usage and need, and “paper light” was the term used. Every practice is different as well their need for printed materials. Consultants? Who needs them…

    3. Old Printer—-While WebDMEMR doesn’t exactly provide solutions on such a personal level, there should be a reduced need for a printer, but as I mentioned above practices differ in their use of print materials.

    4. Lack Of Patient doctor Eye contact— This is actually kind of funny. The fact is, it is up to the health care provider to give their patients eye contact and make them feel secure. I am not exactly sure what the doctor was doing that he was unable to look at his patients, but as with any EHR, data entry is required. But like any other job, certainly one could make time or opportunities to connect with their patients.

    5. Lost data in an EMR —– This is a fun one… I am not a “tech” person, but I will try my best. Firstly though, I’d like to point out that lost data is commonly due to user error. WebDMEMR has both software and hardware components that prevent data loss. On the software side, our backup schedule works at 3x daily differential and a 1x daily full differential. Also, our database utilizes SQL mirroring and a distributed file system (DFS) to prevent data loss. As far as hardware is concerned, our servers are configured with Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID)a technology that allowed computer users to achieve high levels of storage reliability from low-cost and less reliable PC-class disk-drive components, via the technique of arranging the devices into arrays for redundancy.

    6. Cost of IT support —- Finally, IT support, as I mentioned in the post of above (I’ll call it my futile attempt to avoid writing all of this) IT support depends on the network infrastructure of the location in question. But of course, web based EHRs are more economic in the long run.

    Thanks for the opportunity John!

  • Now that wasn’t hard was it? Thanks for going to the effort.

    I just want to comment on the eye-contact. This is really an issue with almost any EHR software. Choosing a different EHR usually does little to change this problem.

    The problem with lack of patient-doctor eye contact is even more of a problem when a doctor first implements. Far too many doctors go into the room with their computer and since they don’t know the software well they get lost looking for something in the software and forget about the patient. So, I think familiarity with the system can really help solve this problem.

    Plus, similar to what you said, doctors can step away from the computer and have the patient interaction or at least inform the patient of what you’re doing with the computer so they don’t feel like they aren’t getting the attention the want.

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