I was recently having a conversation with Susan Clark from eHealthcare Consulting and we were talking about the ambulatory world and what makes it unique. I commented to her that many in ambulatory are just trying to survive and so they want the simplest, cheapest solution possible. She then commented that many of them make very short sighted decisions.
I thought the comment was fascinating since I’ve seen this happen over and over again in the ambulatory world. There are some exceptions, but for the most part I’ve seen many in the ambulatory environment want the quick, dirty, easy solution as opposed to making a long term decision that will pay long term benefits.
Since I live in the EHR world, that’s where I’ve seen it most. In fact, I think it’s why we’re heading into the next generation of EHR switching. Many doctors chose the cheap and easy way out with their EHR (which wasn’t always that cheap) and now they’re paying the price as they have to switch EHR vendors.
The sad part is that many of them actually spent a lot more on their EHR thinking that it was a great long term investment when in fact the great long term investment would have been to spend more time evaluating, planning, and implementing the right EHR in the right way. Instead they just threw money at the most expensive EHR with the idea that if it costs more it must be better. Sadly, many of the high end EHR brands haven’t lived up to their high end price tag. In fact, many doctors would have been much happier to go with the less expensive mid-tier EHR vendor that worked better with their practice and their workflow.
This brings up a key point in an ambulatory practices decision making. Long term decision making doesn’t mean that you always have to pay more money for something up front. However, it almost always means you have to spend more time and energy up front evaluating the decision. That extra time and energy has a cost, but it pays big dividends long term. However, I think Susan Clark’s right that there’s far too many ambulatory practices who are short sighted and don’t want to make that kind of investment.