‘Tis the time of year to count our blessings, and since we’re here to talk about EMRs, what better time to consider the blessings EMR adoption has brought us.
After all of the expense and time and training and politics and patches, it’s easy to forget why we bothered to bring an EMR on board. But let us not forget what we’ve gained:
1. Vivid “disaster” stories to tell at health IT conventions. Sure, a lucky few hospitals have smoothly-running EMRs in place, but let’s face it, most are still struggling with integration issues, ugly interfaces, painful workflow transitions and edgy users. But that’s not as bad as it seems. Remember, you get a lot more street cred from making a lousy EMR run than you do for your flawless revenue cycle install.
2. Job security. OK, this isn’t a guarantee, but if your bosses are smart, they’ll be terrified to let you go if you’re the one who really understands the system. After all, if you go it won’t be pretty. Sure, the CEO could call in the vendor or a consultant to make the EMR work, but a) it’ll cost a fortune and b) your hospital could lose data, violate HIPAA, crash the system or lose a critical interface to, say, labs or the pharmacy. If your CEO is smart he’ll be sending you flowers.
3. Impressing people with new acronyms. Even before EMRs began rolling out, IT pros have relied on a huge list of acronyms to get our business done. With the advent of EMRs, and clinical data sharing generally, we’ve opened a huge storehouse of new acronyms. Nothing impresses the ladies more than acronyms, boys — take it from me.
4. Popularity. Without a doubt, you’re already used to calls from frantic users who don’t know how to use the software your hospital has so generously provided. Or at least you’re used to hearing about the crazy folks your staff has to handle. Now, with an EMR in place, users are far more dependent on your technical skill, wisdom and largesse. Not only will clinicians seek your advice, they’ll hang on your every word, offer to TiVo old episodes of The Office and pick up your dry cleaning. It’s good to be the king.
5. Sex appeal. Now that you’re running the EMR everyone counts on, you’re a power player. You seem tanned and prosperous. Vendors buy you lunch. And thusly, your cool rating goes through the roof. Guys, did I mention that women love acronyms? And women, you’re in the driver’s seat now; remember, there’s no aphrodisiac like power, and a woman who can pull your charting privileges is one to be feared.