MU Requirements Make a Decent EMR Suffer

Posted on July 22, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

If you’ve been missing the deep conversation we’re having in the “Develop Your Own EMR – You’re Still Crazy” thread, you’re missing some good conversation. Here’s one of the comments from Andrew Schechtman, M.D.

I’ve found the MU requirements can make an otherwise decent EMR suffer. For example, I previously used a web-based EMR that implemented an allergy documentation component that met MU requirements but was impossible to use in real-world clinical care. It didn’t allow one to enter a class of drugs (“I’m allergic to sulfas”) only specific agents. It didn’t allow an allergy entry without specifying the type of reaction. As any practicing doc knows, a good chunk of allergies come in as “I don’t know what reaction but my mom told me I’ve been allergic since I was a kid.” It met MU requirements but it was truly unusable. It continued in this unusable state for more than a year. I think it’s fixed now although I no longer use that product.

I’ve seen this from EHR vendors many times I’ve done demos. I’ll ask why something is there and then I’ll realize that it’s to satisfy meaningful use. I’ve often said something very similar about the healthcare billing requirements. EMR software could be so beautiful if it weren’t for insane healthcare billing and other government regulations like meaningful use.

I realize that it’s kind of water under a bridge at this point. Meaningful use is here to stay and the EHR incentive money is too tasty for most doctors and hospitals to ignore. However, I think the meaningful use requirements will eventually create an amazing opportunity for disruption. It will take a number of years for the billions of dollars of EHR incentive money to be spent. Plus, I think we’ll need some sort of healthcare collapse, possibly similar to the real estate collapse, to awaken people to the insane healthcare reimbursement. Both of those could create a tremendous opportunity for an entrepreneur to do something amazing for healthcare.