By Ken Anderberg, Publisher/Editorial Director, March, 2010
Changing an organization's processes usually is a difficult task. People are used to the way "things have always been done" and often are reluctant to try something new — such as accepting technology solutions they are unfamiliar with. It's called "human nature" and a not-unexpected response when the subject of electronic medical records (EMR) is broached.
Staunch objections to EMRs generally have centered on either lost productivity or costs, mostly the latter. The HITECH Act addresses the cost issue by providing billions of dollars for electronic records implementations, but getting $44,000 back from the feds for a system that might cost a physician's office $150,000 does not necessarily create strong demand to move from paper to electronic records. Now, however, a number of EMR vendors and several large hospital systems are lending a hand.