Big EMR Problems To Tackle in 2012

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury 2011 EMR assumptions, not to praise them. Here’s some of the critical problems we didn’t kick this year:

* Just about everything we’d like to see happen with EMRs takes longer, costs more, and involves more left turns than we’d originally expected. Sure, enterprise software is like that anyway, but EMR adoption brings a whole ‘nother level of pain.

* Getting EMR data into the right hands on the right platform — via mobile computing devices, point of care tech, smartphones, rolling workstations and more — may be even more important than how the data is presented.  But the industry is juuuust beginning to get its head around the idea.

* Maybe some hospital execs were hoping this would go away over time, but it isn’t. Doctors still don’t like most EMR interfaces, period.

* It’s pretty obvious, now, that EMRs aren’t going to meet most of their bigger goals until they’re linked up into a community HIE with heavy doctor buy-in.  So far, not so good: HIE penetration is on the uptick but it isn’t standard by any means.

* While there’s clearly been worthwhile progress in a few areas, few institutions have seen the big EMR process and clinical outcomes they’d hoped for yet, much less major returns on investment (admittedly, more of vision in that case).

So readers, I challenge you: which of these problems do you think the hospital industry, or your organization specifically, will begin to solve in this New Year? What will resources will it take to make these changes, and how long will the process last?

Are there other problems I haven’t mentioned that deserve a few words?

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.