2012 EHR and Health IT Noise

I have to admit, I’ve really enjoyed going through and making lists looking back on EMR and Health IT in 2011 and thinking about what is going to happen in EMR and Health IT in 2012. Thanks for everyone who has joined and added to the discussion. It’s been really great!

This next list might actually be the hardest one for me to create. I call it the 2012 EHR and Health IT Noise. You know what I’m talking about. The topics that are going to get talked to death, tweeted everywhere, but won’t really have any major impact on healthcare (at least in 2012). Some would call these distractions.

HIE – Yes, we’re going to hear more and more about HIE’s and their potential. 2012 will still enjoy all that federal grant money that was given to HIE’s. What will we see from it? Maybe a couple books describing lessons learned from all the money spent on trying to set up an HIE. If one or two HIE’s are successful and start sharing patient data with doctors I’ll be really impressed.

EHR Usability – In 2012 I predict we’re going to hear story after story about the lack of usability with EHR software. The complaints will start to pile up, but I don’t think any of that noise will do much to shift the usability of EHR software. It’s a really hard task to dramatically shift the usability of EHR software after the fact. I can’t see many of the legacy EHR accomplishing that shift.

Some new EMR startups may start to come into their own in 2012 with usable EHR software, but they likely won’t be heard above the noise of the other legacy EHR software that’s practically unusable. We’re in a selling spree cycle for EHR software, maybe 2013 will change that.

Mobile Health Apps – This is a little different noise than the others above. This will be noise because there will be so many mobile health apps out there in 2012 and none of them will really consolidate market share yet. I believe that a number of mobile health apps will start to differentiate themselves in 2012, but most people won’t know the difference. They’ll just hear all the noise and try and ignore it.

Meaningful Use – Oh wait, I already wrote about that one here. If you haven’t read the comments of that post, you should. Some good discussion.

Any other things you think will make noise in EMR and Health IT in 2012? I’d love to hear your additions.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of 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.


  • Without HIE, the electronic part of EHR is like a ship without a rudder.
    The major benefit of electronic records is connectability. Otherwise, we only have the same data in a different container.
    The EHR has marginal benefits in time and clarity with electronic prescribing, but that is the chief improvement from day 1. So there will indeed be lots of complaints about usability and the software industry will largely ignore it.
    My prediction for 2014 is a push to dump no more federal money into health IT because it is talked about as a resounding failure. The theme of 2014 politically is the enormous number of wasteful and unhelpful federal programs.
    I have been using a computer program for office notes for 8 years. The big difference has been clarity of my notes and there is a lot more data in each note, accessible from the cut-and-paste past history.

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