Sure, some doctors are passionate EMR advocates. They know every nuance of how systems should work, speak passionately about the medical benefits EMRs can deliver, and adopt systems with the greatest ease.
The thing is, if I had to hazard a guess as to how many, those folks make up maybe 5 percent of the profession. The rest are suspicious and weary at best.
Many CIOs seem to see EMR-hostile as cowards or militants standing in the way of progress. But that’s an unfair and unproductive assumption. Lest we forget, let’s remind ourselves why many a sensible doctor might not be so thrilled by your EMR plans:
* You made the final buying decision: Sure, you may have given rank-and-file doctors a chance to play with various platforms, and perhaps a nice pep talk, but let’s be honest: the EMR that excites the C-suite players and board is the one doctors at your hospital must swallow. Doctor feedback isn’t that important when top management egos are at stake.
* Your EMR may be a struggle to use: I never fail to marvel at how many comments I see online slamming hospital EMRs, to the effect of “The new system is impossible to use,” or “They say it’s easy to make templates, but it seems almost impossible to me” or “When I needed technical support I just couldn’t get it.” Sure, training can help, but if your EMR is basically FUBARed from a usability standpoint, you won’t be able to make things simple.
* Doctors may have to learn multiple EMR interfaces: Doctors typically have admitting privileges at a few different hospitals, no? And how likely is it that these hospitals use not only the same EMR, but the same interface and the same modules? Near impossible, I’d say. So doctors may go through three or four learning processes, fearing in each case that they’ll hurt a patient (or worse) if they get things wrong.
Hey, you have very important reasons to get your EMR into place, but if we’re totally honest, some of them have nothing to do with your medical staff.
Let’s not pretend that we’ve done everything we could to win doctors over, and got nothing but complaints in return. Doctors aren’t crybabies — they’re professionals who fear that you’re going to screw up their job.
If doctors ran the EMR adoption process, things would go a lot differently (something I’ll elaborate on in a future post.) Until that happens, if it ever does, let’s just hope that doctors are gracious enough to put up with the way you do business.