When it comes to EHRs and health IT in general, you are the omnipotent consumer. Unfortunately, the best and brightest seem to consume just like the worst and dumbest do. Would you buy 10 magazines for a chance in hell to “win” $100 million? Would you open a bank account if I give you “free” checking? Would you use my credit card if I give you 1 cent back on each purchase? Would you click this shiny button if I let you use my “free” software? And what would you do for a Klondike bar?
Case in point: Meaningful use is a voluntary program. The maximum incentive per Medicare physician is equivalent to seeing one more patient per week. The maximum penalty for a typical Medicare physician can be recuperated by seeing one more patient per week. The cost of using a meaningful use EHR, in both cash and physician time, far exceeds one weekly visit. Can someone please enlighten me on why there is no market (and trust me, there isn’t) for non-government sanctioned technology that is purposely built to serve doctors? Remember, you own more than half the market.
After swallowing meaningful use, hook, line and sinker, here comes desert. The goal of meaningful use was to collect enough information about your patients, so you, and every Silicon Valley funded techie, can process the health of large populations in bulk. As any United States Postal Office clerk can tell you, bulk processing of things is much cheaper than first class processing of the same, but bulk processing requires specialized machinery beyond the simple collection of items to be processed. The bottom line is that in order to stay competitive you will have to buy more technology. In light of your previous shopping history, we know exactly what’s going to transpire. You will buy whatever junk the government subsidizes. And you will use it in the prescribed manner, while complaining that it is taking the joy out of medicine, the quality out of patient care and the profit out of your practice.