EMR Parody Reveals Backers, Makes Serious Points

For those who haven’t been following the story of Extormity, a fictional EMR parodying the sprawling, difficult-to-integrate EMRs used by large enterprises, you’ve missed a treat.

Extormity, whose tagline is “Expensive, Exasperating, Exhausting,” proudly boasts that it was accredited by standards body SEEDIE, the Society for Exorbitantly Expensive and Difficult to Implement EHRs.  The company, they’ll have you know, chose its name because its products are at “the confluence of extortion and conformity.”

For quite a long time — as I recall, at least two years — the people behind this sophisticated mockery of big, pompous EMR players have written reams of extremely funny, but telling, material worth of The Onion or The Daily Show for their Web site.

They also churned out a laugh-out-loud series of fake press releases which helped to build their loyal following. (I think my favorites were “Posting as Guam, Extormity Snags ARRA HIE Grant,” and “SEEDIE Announces ARRA Acronym Certification Program.”)

Though the parody got quite a lot of attention, the companies behind it refused to reveal their identities throughout the entire charade.

Now, in a release premiered at HIMSS (of course), the anonymous players have identified themselves (Check out how EMR and HIPAA broke the Extormity news before the press conference):  they’re NoMoreClipboard.com and MIE- Medical Informatics Engineering.

Of course, when the two companies issued a real press release unveiling their true identities, they did some selling, making comparisons between the ponderous Extormity and their real, lightweight, Web-based product. But hey, after years of entertainment, I was very ready to listen.

I take my hat off to the creative, hugely funny people behind Extormity and SEEDIE, and encourage them to continue with their barbed critique of clumsy EHRs.  Hopefully, encouraged by their advice, no one will have to call their new “EHR Depression Hotline.” But you never know…

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

3 Comments

  • I am fully expecting the first big malpractice case involving an EMR to the surface shortly. Going to be a nightmare.

  • Hello John,

    Thank you for being such a balanced and unbiased voice in a market that has a deafening amount of noise (from 600+ vendors) and very little differentiation. On a lighter note, it was your newsletter that introduced us to “Extormity” which has given my staff and I many laughs. On Feb 25th you wrote: “This year, if an EMR vendor seems like a me-too, they’ll be history in 18 months, tops. Like it or not, the time has come to put up (a clear message) or shut up.” I think you are correct, we saw so many demo’s and they all looked about the same. After searching the market for many months, the only “clear message” (and approach to EMR design) we have found that really seems unique is Praxis EMR by Infor-Med. We became aware of Praxis through the AAFP EMR user survey (where they ranked high in 2008 & 2009). This small company has apparently been around for years and even won a Frost and Sullivan award in 2008 for HIT innovation. Still no one seems to know about them and no other physicians in our area use them. Most colleagues I spoke with (who went “paperless”) simply purchased the EMR (“Extormity-esque”) that our hospital recommended but then, after a few months of struggling, they reverted back to paper during their patient encounters (whcih their staff then had to enter into the EMR)… we didn’t want to follow down that path. So the reason we are strongly considering them is because of their “template-free” design. Here’s what we’ve learned from the demonstrations: instead of using templates, the EMR continually learns how the physician practices medicine (through every patient encounter… a type of artificial intelligence they call “concept processing) and then applies that knowledge to each new patient encounter. In a surprising short period of time, charting becomes faster than dictation and then keeps getting faster. Because all the SOAP notes are in the physician’s own words, it is extremely detailed, intuitive and allows the clinician to (as the company says) “Chart at the speed of their mind”. Also, because all this “dynamic” data comes from actual patient encounters, it is privileged and can’t be deposed by a plaintiff’s counsel (which, as we understand from the blogs, is an inherent liability risk with templates). The clinical guidelines become dynamic and automatically applied to new patients based upon my assessment. Also, the internal-external messaging is phenomenal and they seem willing to interface with practically any billing solution (so we don’t have to fix something that isn’t broken). Anyway, we have been through a number of very detailed presentations (performed by one of their physicians) and as you can tell by the way I’m rambling on, we are convinced it is the way we want to go. None of the other EMR demonstrations we’ve seen have even come close. If you have time to drop us a quick line, we would be very interested if you have any opinion on these guys (http://www.infor-med.com) Thanks again for all your well informed guidance and keep up the great work.

    Best regards,
    Bret Shull

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