EMR Innovation and the Future of EMR – #HIMSS11

Turns out that my previous post about lack of EMR innovation at HIMSS was a little more controversial than I expected it to be. Plus, I’m not sure that I communicated the entire message about EMR innovation and the future of EMR software in healthcare (I’m blaming the late nights and lack of sleep).

I’m still suffering the HIMSS hangover and on this too small to type well netbook, but let me try and add some more context to the previous post.

One person emailed me about my “disappointment with EMR software.” I’d be careful to characterize it as disappointment with the EMR industry. I’m really optimistic about the future of EMR. I still think they’re a great value proposition and that EVERY (leave a few rural settings aside) doctor should and will have an EMR and technology in their office. I guess the disappointment is mostly that meaningful use has killed some of the innovation that could have made EMR even more exciting.

One thing seems to be clear. Every EMR vendor that I talked to has conformed with the meaningful use guidelines. So, inasmuch as you see the meaningful use guidelines as innovative, EMR vendors are certainly hitting those guidelines.

Janice commented on my other post that she was optimistic because meaningful use gets content stored electronically and that will unleash the real power of technology. One thing that can’t be argued is the increased interest and focus on EMR software. That I believe will have a great effect on EMR software and I’m optimistic that doctors and clinics will generally do what’s right and best in selecting and implementing EMR software. Plus, while a little harsh to mention, doctors that are on their second EMR implementation do much better and rarely get it wrong the second time.

One vendor described it well when they mentioned that their original business was a great and useful service, but it wasn’t the heart of any clinics business. Thus their move to EMR (although, there were other reasons also). Either way, the message they sent was clear: EMR will be the heart of every medical practice.

With that message in mind, I want EMR vendors to take this to heart and improve their applications in innovative ways for both patients, doctors and healthcare in general. I look forward to seeing those iPad-onian innovations in EHR software. Just like none of us expected or predicted the impact of the iPad. I don’t know where exactly a similar innovation will come in EMR. However, I look forward to it and believe we’ll see many many iPad-onian innovations in healthcare IT.

EMRandHIPAA.com’s HIMSS11 coverage is sponsored by Practice Fusion, provider of the free, web-based Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system used by over 70,000 healthcare providers in the US.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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.


  • Joe,
    You really think that EMR in Doctors offices will be the norm as long as the baby boomers are practicing ( another 10 years plus!)?? I just dont see it!

  • I’m not sure who Joe is, but I’ll assume you meant John;-)

    I think that it’s different to say that I think EMR in doctors offices will be the norm versus EMR in doctors offices will be the future. I’m working on a future post that says if we get 50% adoption in the next 5 years, that will be impressive. So, with that prediction I wouldn’t say they’re the norm, but they are the future.

  • It seems illogical that physicians are slow to adopt EHR until you try to look at the situation from their perspective. Health Records are the lifeblood of every practice. While I completely support the effort to move practices into the 21st century I also understand that the business needs to run to generate money. Implementing EHR significantly changes a practice and comes with uncertainties that many of my colleagues simply aren’t ready to embrace.

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