EMR Stimulus Concerns

I just read one of the best posts I’ve read in quite a while by Marc Holland, CEO of System Research Services about HI(TECH) Anxiety. One of the best parts of the post was a list he did of the concerns physicians and their staff have about the EMR stimulus:

  • I don’t have enough Medicare revenues to qualify
  • I don’t have enough of a Medicaid patient volume to qualify
  • I’m reluctant to shop, let alone buy, until I know what criteria I must meet for my usage to be considered “meaningful”
  • The vendors I have spoken with don’t offer a version suitable to my specialty; a general purpose EMR simply doesn’t meet my needs
  • I have no personal capability or interest in becoming my own IT department and I don’t have the luxury of staff with the necessary skills
  • I haven’t begun to shop and don’t know where to start
  • The software I have seen doesn’t match my needs; usability is a key concern
  • I’m concerned about sharing my patient information with competitors and with the government, how do I preserve the confidentiality of my patient information?
  • How do I obtain and manage patient permissions?
  • I need help; lots of help

These concerns really aren’t new. Plus, none of them are really all that significant. It’s just the learning curve that’s required to implement an EMR. Sadly, I think that far too much focus has been on shoving the EMR down people’s throats instead of educating them properly on EMR and the inherent benefits of those EMR.

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.


  • John, your comment really hits home. Sometimes, I tend to forget the “fundamental” challenges many physicians face each and every day. RECs are supposed to assist with some of those concerns but most of them are so busy trying to start-up and figure out their own sustainability, their core mission to assist physicians are being forgotten. I see two primary challenges. First, physicians must decide to move to an EMR/EHR for the right reasons – definitely not enough to do it for the EHR incentive payments. Second, and maybe even more challenging, is getting the right help. In my opinion, that help better understand not only which EMR/EHR fits but also the HITECH landscape.

  • I am in complete agreement with you David. The move to an EMR/EHR must be done for the right reasons. The biggest fear I have is that the government will make this mandatory in the next 5 to 10 years, imposing huge fines on those not in compliance. I work in the IT field, and have decided for the survival of our business it is important to fully understand EMR/EHR to better serve our clients in the medical field. It is daunting, to say the least. There is a ton of info out there and sorting through it all has been a challenge. I am anxious to see things set in stone so that we, as well as the physicians, can actually move forward.

  • I think the problem in interpreting this term i.e ‘meaningful use’ is of looking at it through the wrong prism. I would add further that the medical practitioners are looking to avail of this federal incentive by trying to comply with the definition of meaningful use but at the same time EHR providers are looking at their own set of profits.

    This misunderstanding is mostly I believe as a result of wrong interpretation of the federal guidelines. The EHR providers need to look at these guidelines from the prospective of the practitioners who deal with different specialties.

    Each specialty EHR has its own set of challenges or requirements which I believe is overlooked by most EHR vendors in a effort to merely follows federal guidelines. This is resulting in low usability to the practitioners, thus less ROI, finally redundancy of the EHR solution in place.

    There are few good links which I came across when I was browsing on these topics.
    Usability/meaningful usehttp://www.waitingroomsolutions.com/wrs/arra-stimulus-money-44k-arra-emr-stimulus-bill-arra-ehr-stimulus-incentives”

    Certification criteria for EHR:

    A pretty handy ROI calculator for any practitioner:

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