I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not an expert on hospitals and their motivations. I have however found it very interesting to watch from the sidelines at the various methods that Hospitals use to get their outside doctors using an EMR. The hospital ambulatory EMR offerings come in all shapes and sizes. However, at the core of pretty much every offering I’ve seen is a hospital’s desire to be connected and engaged with the outside clinics. There is some real value for a hospital to be well connected to their doctors (sounds like a good topic for a future post).
The problem is that many times a hospital ambulatory EMR offering can backfire if it’s not done right.
The challenge is that a hospital has to narrow its “supported EMR” choices down to a very small list. It’s just not reasonable for hospitals to try and support a laundry list of outside EMR companies (at least with the current state of EMR data standards). Plus, this short list of EMR vendors often isn’t selected with the outside clinics best interest in mind. Instead, the short list of EMR vendors is determined based on the hospitals best interest and EMR vendors ability to schmooze the hospital C-level executive(s). Not always, but I’m just stating what other people are afraid to say.
Now let’s think about the result of a hospital providing a short list of EMR vendors who aren’t designed to meet the needs of these clinics. What was intended to be a strategy of engagement by the hospital with the outside clinics quickly becomes a disengagement strategy as physician offices shun the hospital provided EMR vendors and select a different EMR.
This could also be taken one step further for those that do select the hospital selected EMR and the EMR and/or hospital can’t/don’t provide the type of support that the physician offices expect. Yet another way that the hospital engagement strategy can quickly become a strategy of disengagement.
I’m not saying that doctors or hospitals shouldn’t consider working together on EMR. I’m just saying that hospitals should be careful in the type of EMR they offer physician offices or it might just backfire on them.