Docs Are Tired of Being Force Fed IT That Makes Things Worse

When I look at the world of healthcare IT and EHR, there are a lot of things to be proud about. In the 11+ years that I’ve been blogging about EHR, I’ve seen a massive progression in the use of technology in healthcare. I know a lot of doctors that implemented EHR the right way and are seeing a lot of value from it. It makes their workflow more efficient and helps them take care of their patients better. They can’t imagine practicing medicine without an EHR and other technology.

On the other hand, I know even more people that feel like they were force fed technology that ended up making their practice worse. I don’t want to absolve the practice of any responsibility since they chose to chase the government money and/or they kicked their heels in and made the EHR implementation as miserable as possible since they were against it in the first place. Both situations usually ended up with things getting worse for the doctor.

While those at ONC proudly proclaimed that EHR adoption was going through the roof (and it was), they essentially burned out a whole generation of physicians on the value technology could bring to their practice. In many ways, MACRA is doubling down on these same things.

I wish that every government health IT program had one requirement tied to it. Does this improve patient care or improve efficiency? If they can answer this question affirmatively with proven facts, then they should regulate, incentivize and legislate it. If it doesn’t or we don’t know, then they should do the work required to find out.

I don’t know a single doctor that when shown the evidence of the benefits to their patients and their practices doesn’t want to adopt technology. If we’d given them the time to evaluate EHR properly, learn from their peers, and implement EHR in a rationale way, most doctors would love their EHR and be happy to use it.

The challenge is where do we go from here. The damage of rushed EHR implementations is done. However, we should choose to stop doubling down on requirements that don’t improve safety, quality, and efficiency. Implementations will improve and EHR satisfaction will improve if we just stop trying to force feed doctors.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, 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.


  • Totally agree with this post. Here’s an idea…just drop all Cert requirements for EHR, Drop all the reporting/attesting programs like MACRA, MU, etc. This is the alternate payment model. Just let MDs be MDs. Let IT work DIRECTLY with MDs for rapid workflow changes, better usability, safety, burden reduction, etc. Forget ALL those ridiculous Cert EHR numerators and denominators, etc. If I want to be able to order aspirin in one click. then let IT build it for me.
    Its really a back to the future moment. EHRs were VERY customizable, and vendors worked very hard to make smooth efficient EHRs for MDS PRIOR to HITECH. We did not need a nanny state of DC ‘certifying” crappy policy driven EHRs. We set ourselves back at least a decade. Making Health IT essentially the Tax Code of regulations, will do NOTHING to improve care or outcomes. Its time to set IT free and let it do its innovation magic. Once we gain back some badly needed trust with MDs and IT, we can make some moves towards higher goals like interop. It has NO chance in the current roadmap. None. We have severely damaged an entire generation of MDs, with all this nonsense. Lets not damage another.

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