EMR Tire Kickers

The people over at Software advice ran a poll asking essentially whether the HITECH act had created EMR buyers or just brought out the EMR Tire Kickers. Sadly, only 74 people responded. I wish I would have known about it and I would have promoted the poll so we had a wider audience voting to get a more interesting set of data.

The poll did essentially say that right now it’s brought out the tire kickers. I’ve been talking for a while now about how the HITECH act would actually slow EMR adoption (at least in the short term for sure). This poll basically agrees with that prediction.

The question remains whether those EMR tire kickers will turn into EMR sales. I’d be really interested to see the results of the same poll in say February or March. I think we’re going to see a tremendous increase in EMR purchases at that point in time.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of 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.


  • >>> “I think we’re going to see a tremendous increase in EMR purchases at that point in time.”

    Why did you believe this back then, John?

    Doctors aren’t stupid- most won’t throw themselves at MU’s $44,000.00 only to be left straddled with a loss from year 1 due to the estimated costs of owning an EHR and doing MU for eternity of $40-60,000.00 per year.

    Time has shown that the HIT industry has stagnated, with few doctors now buying into the politically driven HITECH Act. I can’t wait until the next CDC biyearly report…

  • Al,
    I still think that statement’s true. There’s going to be a spike in those that purchase EMR software to get the EMR stimulus money. Many were already considering buying it before the stimulus and now a good number of doctors will buy an EMR now that we have the details and timelines for the EMR stimulus.

    After this jump in sales, it’s then going to be interesting to watch. The future sales of EMR software are going to be highly dependent on the experience of these initial EMR implementations. If they’re successful and doctors like their EMR and get the EMR stimulus money, then we’ll see more EMR adoption. If they don’t like it or have trouble getting the EMR stimulus money or experience many of the headaches of EMR adoption that we’ve seen before, then I believe it will actually set EMR adoption back long term.

    I know which way you lean on that scale. I still think the jury is out, but I am concerned that the later scenario is a distinct possibility.

    If the later scenario of an EMR adoption setback occurs, I’m not sure we’ll come out of it until the next generation of “digital natives” finish medical school and achieve prominent enough status in a clinic to push EMR adoption again.

  • I just realized this post was from 2009. I did misjudge the time it would take to really get the details of the EMR stimulus in place. I thought by February or March of 2010 we’d have known more than we did. Turns out the legislative details took much longer than I expected, but I think we’ll see the spike now that the details are finally in.

  • I can already tell you that in the past few months, about three of the private solo practitioners I know are making the plunge. There’s no cost if you use a free system like the one I use, Practice Fusion, so that the former argument of Al’s wouldn’t hold much weight in this case. However, one would still need to assume the cost burden of installing computer equipment.

  • Hi Michael:

    If you look at past history of HIT rollouts in the USA, you can expect about 50% of these doctors that do make the plunge to dieinstall their systems within the next 5 years for a total loss of both time and capital.

    Free systems only lower the cost slightly, as MU costs are mostly affected by both items like the hardware that you mention as well as the cost of actually complying with Phase I of the rules. There are still Phase II and Phase III regs that are pending, making MU a process where you need to take out your wallet, then leave it open for both vendors and big government to pick pocket your hard earned savings on a chronic basis.

    If you wish to read over the calculations of the $60000.00+ per year per license, see my article at MDNG here: http://www.hcplive.com/publications/mdng-primarycare/2009/Mar2009/PC_Medicare_HIT_mandate

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