Interoperable EMR, EMR Documentation Time, and Physician Happiness

This week’s look around the EMR Twitter world seems to indicate a growing number of people talking about the challenge of EMR in its current state. I guess that’s one challenge of wider spread adoption: more people talk about its weaknesses. Although, in the end, we need to have these important discussions. So, it’s good that we’re hearing these concerns voiced.

This is one of the biggest complaints that I hear over and over with EMR. It’s very true that the EMR information isn’t really portable. I think we’re making some progress on this, but it is still a ways off from where it could be. What I don’t think most people recognize is that getting all these doctors on EMR is a necessary step to doing all of the patient data portability stuff. It was never going to happen if doctors didn’t get their records electronic.

The challenge of an EMR “slowing down” a doctor is a big one. Although, as is discussed in the next tweet, there’s a new generation of EMR that take this into account. Plus, there’s a whole shift in this discussion. Before it was like force feeding doctors on a template based system. In some cases we’re still seeing this, but becoming more common is the approach of allowing for multiple options that allow a doctor to work the way that’s best suited and most efficient for them. This will take some time to play itself out though.

The general idea of this article is good. It says basically that the first generation of EMR software was focused on replicating the paper process in electronic form. Then, it suggests that we’re seeing the next generation of EMR software which is working on “physician happiness” and “physician productivity” and this is producing a much different workflow. Change is hard though, but I think it’s happening. Of course, my biggest concern in this regard has to do with EHR certification/Meaningful Use and hospital acquired practices stifling companies that are part of this second wave of EMR software.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, 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,, 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.


  • Thanks Chuck. It’s funny you’d say this, because when I did the post I started to wonder what people thought of the posts. In fact, I was getting ready to do a small survey where people can rate some of the various content I create so I can make sure I’m giving the readers what they like best. There’s always room to improve. I’ll still probably do the survey, but I appreciate your feedback.

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