Insane EMR Ideas

In the vast amount of information that comes through my email, Twitter account, RSS feeds, etc one of them recently caught my eye. It was a webinar called, “Insane Ideas in Healthcare IT” by Christine D. Chang; Ovum, Analyst of Healthcare Technology (you can find the archived webinar here if you click around a bit). Here’s the description for the presentation:

All great ideas sound “insane” at first. This presentation will describe three insane ideas that Ovum believes will transform healthcare in the future including:
• Telehealth is for everyone, not just the elderly.
• Patient self-diagnosis is good and should be promoted.
• Personal health records are not just a passing trend, they are the solution.

I really love the concept of considering “insane ideas.” So, my question is what EMR ideas do you have that most people would consider insane?

On EMR and HIPAA, I wrote about an EMR platform which I think some might classify as an insane idea. Sometimes I wonder if becoming a full time entrepeneur doing mostly EMR blogging is an insane idea;-) I think that many might consider the Free EMR software an insane idea.

I had one EMR vendor recently ask me to write about them. He hoped that people’s response to my post would be that they all think it’s crazy to try and build an EMR company that way. I guess he prescribes to the best ideas sounding “insane” at first.

Let’s hear what ideas you think might be insane.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, 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.


  • The EMR platform idea is far from insane in my estimation; I’ve had very similar ideas about EMR as a platform, that platform as a service, and that service as a platform-mediated network. Then again, I’m probably insane.

  • I mention it since many in the comments decried the idea as not possible. I think it’s reasonable, but would take some really creative planning and a framework that inspired developers to build on top of it.

  • I wish I saw this article earlier. We have a implemented a few crazy though highly productive EMR ideas at Plus91 in the past 4 years and continue to let our minds run wild while we spend hours in hospital waiting rooms trying to figure out how to reduce that waiting time. Last year we show cased our EMR ClinKare on an iPad, and then the Androids and then took specialty specific EMR’s to blackberries and iPhones. Plus91 EMR’s had simple concepts like alerting patients on their mobile phones regarding medication timings, fertility reminders, pathology reports; These EMR’s also alert doctors on drug interactions, help diagnose better , help output PARTS of patient reports into presentations or blogs,

    We’re now working on another crazy concept in this EMR now…Merging EMR functionality alongwith a website and microsites within a secure CMS , Doctors get the chance to play god with a few areas of the EMR: We are trying to make the administration and tweaking of templates experience so easy that doctors don’t feel the need for consultants.. We want the EMR to be something which they are willing to welcome into their life rather than crib about it…

  • Nrip,
    I like the tagline for your company “Adding Value to Healthcare.” That’s an interesting concept that more need to embrace.

  • John: So sorry that I am replying so late. Unfortunately i didn’t check this check box at the bottom which says Notify of Comments via email. My bad…

    Its true that more firms need to look at adding value to health care … and I believe if they do so with earnest, the health care business will take good care of them. We’ve believed this since the day we started Plus91 and hopefully will continue to do so…

    BTW: I think you should do a follow up article on the insane but cool EMR ideas which have seen the light of day since this post came out a year back …I think VitalHealth’s EMR is one which seems oh so cool …

  • I did see it. Their interface is similar to our Physician EMR Clinkare, but it is much better looking than ours.

    Ours was made in 2007 and has’nt had an aesthetic overhaul since then. It worked on the iPad with not much effort so we didnt bother on the looks even then. We spent our time in tightening the features and making the process flows much faster. But after feeling a bit jealous after looking at Vitals, i this we are going to do some work on the aesthetics for the next release 🙂

    BTW what do you call insane. Does an EMR which lets doctors DM Appointment Reminders to their patients via Twitter sound crazy or insane to you?

  • Nrip,
    You’ll have to send me over some screenshots after you do the redesign.

    I could agree that a Twitter DM of appointment reminders would be pretty insane. Of course, often insane ideas aren’t necessarily good business ideas. Sometimes they are and sometimes they aren’t. However, I love insane ideas since they change the conversation and make people reevaluate how they are working. A DM appointment reminder on Twitter would definitely accomplish that.

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