Expensive EMR Systems with Serious Shortcomings

Posted on August 3, 2009 I Written By

In Washington, where partisan bickering over how to revive the economy flares on several fronts, sweet consensus reigns of heath-tech spending … lawmakers cheer electronic records as a business-based remedy for much that ails medical care … That rare agreement, however, is obscuring the checkerboard history of computerized medical files and drowning out legitimate questions about their effectiveness. Cerner, based in Kansas City, MO., and other industry leaders are pushing expensive systems with serious shortcomings, some doctors say. The high cost and questionable quality of products currently on the market are important reasons why barely 1 in 50 hospitals has a comprehensive electronic records system, according to a study published in March in the New England Journal of Medicine. Only 17% of physicians use any type of electronic records. – Chad Terhune, BusinessWeek, May 4, 2009, The Dubious Promise of Digital Medicine: Why huge spending on electronic records won’t produce quick improvements in efficiency or care.

I have to agree with the above assessment.

“Industry leaders are pushing expensive systems with serious shortcomings” and
”The high cost and questionable quality of products currently on the market are important reasons why” … many hospitals and physician groups do not use EMRs.

I am interested in hearing your opinion on this matter. I believe that there are great systems out there. Why are they so hard to find? Why aren’t doctors finding them, buying them and using them?