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Fear of Saying Yes to Healthcare IT

Posted on February 5, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve seen a theme this week in healthcare. The theme keeps coming up and so I thought I’d highlight it here for others to comment on. The following Twitter exchange illustrates the discussion:


This reply is about secure text, but “this” in Nick’s tweet could be a wide variety of tech solutions. So, fill in “this” with your favorite health IT solution.

Andrew Richards responded:

And then I replied:


Andrew is right that there are a lot of solutions out there, but the “gatekeepers” as he calls them are saying no. My tweet was limited to 140 characters, so I highlighted the fear element assciated with not saying yes. However, that definitely simplifies the reason they’re not saying yes. Let’s also be clear that they’re not usually saying no either. They’re just not saying yes (this is is sometimes called misery by sales people).

While I think fear is a major element why the health IT gatekeepers are saying no, there are other reasons. For example, many are so overwhelmed with “bigger” projects that they just don’t have the time to say yes to one more project. Even a project that has great potential to provide value to their organization. I’ve heard some people argue that this is just an excuse. In some cases that may be the case, but in others people really are busy with tons of projects.

Another obstacle I see is that many feel like they’ve been burned by past health IT projects. The front runner for burning people out is EHR. No doubt some really awful EHR implementations have left a black eye on any future healthcare IT projects. If you’d been through some of the awful EHR implementations that were done, you might be afraid of implementing more IT as well.

Nick Adkins finished the Twitter exchange with this tweet:


Nick has spent some time at burning man as you can tell from his tweet. However, a passion for improving healthcare and going above and beyond what we’re doing today is a key strategy to saying yes to challenging, but promising projects.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Are there other good reasons people should be afraid of implementing new technology? Do we need to overcome this fear? What’s going to help these health IT “gatekeepers” to start saying yes?

EMR Should Make it Easy to Do the Right Thing and Hard to Do the Wrong Thing

Posted on August 16, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

There’s a really good article by Paul Cerrato on Information Week which tells the story of how a flawed EHR could threaten a patient. While I can’t say I agree completely that the EHR was the cause of the issue described in the article, I do see how an EHR could have possibly prevented the issue if it had been used right.

The article offers the following conclusion:

They hope that these measures will in fact make it “easy for clinicians to do the right thing and hard for them to do the wrong thing.” Among their suggestions:
— Establish an electronic link between operative notes and the EHR problem lists. Doing so would automatically insert “splenectomy” in the latter.
— Use billing data to identify patients who have had the surgery and let the billing data “talk” to the physician through the EHR system, prompting the physician to add that fact to the problem list.

I don’t think these electronic fixes are enough. The real solution is one that nobody in the healthcare reform camp wants to hear: Short of implanting a microchip in every doctor’s head, the simple truth is each clinician needs to see fewer patients and spend more than the typical eight minutes with each of them. And they need more time to manage all the thousands of tasks they have to perform daily. Obviously, this isn’t going to happen anytime soon. But that doesn’t make it any less true.

Those are some good suggestions. Of course, the first suggestions all focus on getting the right information into the EHR so that the doctors have that information when they’re treating the patient. This is a challenge that is really eternal. I do like some of the things they mention. Some of which are already possible.

The last suggestion is a hard pill for healthcare to swallow. More time with patients, in our current reimbursement model, translates to lower pay.