With the huge impending investment in the US, the Vendor community provided feedback to the Federal Programs as reported in Health Data Management. Many of the challenges are the same as Canada - e.g. increasing demand for services, but diminishing returns due to restrictions and limitations in funding the healthcare system, insufficient focus on usability to make the EMRs really function smoothly in the practice setting etc.
Some examples cited in the article are:
- Physicians will not purchase productivity-decreasing software--particularly now, as they face increasing demand and diminishing reimbursements. They reported productivity losses as high as 40%, and the impact did not diminish over time.
- Template-based EHR notes provide little value--recipients report that they cannot find the important information buried within lengthy, non-filtered documents. These notes do not contribute to better patient care because they often sound the same, lacking nuance and personalization. Frequently ignored, they may in fact decrease quality of care.
- Required point-and-click data input by physicians detracts from their ability to focus on the patients and is a waste of the most valuable healthcare resource--physicians' time.
- Specialists find the primary care focus of the software and of the CCHIT requirements--even the proposed ARRA 2011 certification criteria--not relevant to their needs.
Read the full article: Vendor Exec to Feds: Change Course.
The Federal Advisory Committee Blog is a useful resource to read commentary from users of EMRs (EHRs) that do or do not work.
Is the US on the right track? Is it possible to address the issues raised or at least some of the issues in a way that will lead to success? How relevant are these concerns in Canada e.g. the issue of specialist needs being met by solutions that are focused on primary care?
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