With all the talk about how EMR/EHR resources will make practicing medicine better, faster and safer, I learned of an unintended consequence that is probably under appreciated these days. Hospitalists are being asked to admit more and more patients because, for primary care doctors, when they compare EMR medicine with the old way of doing things, EMR is just too time consuming to make it worth their effort.
That’s right, hospitalists are admitting more patients because the primary care doctors find their time costs for navigating their new EMR, which they bought to qualify for EHR stimulus funds under ARRA, are simply too great. In a business where efficiency must prevail, EHRs Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*
The latest from moi: “Implementing Electronic Medical Records: Advice from the Trenches” in the March/April 2011 issue of HIT Exchange magazine. An excerpt:
The news released in late December from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that more than half of the nation’s physicians are now using electronic medical records (EMR)—double the adoption rate of just five years ago—is surely worth celebrating. Until, that is, you take a look and realize that just a fourth of office-based physicians have access to a “basic” EMR system including patient history, demographics, problem lists, clinical notes, and computerized physician order entry (CPOE), while just one in 10 has a “fully functional” system, which also includes the communication system required for meaningful use, such as the ability to send tests and prescriptions electronically.
But the floodgates are about to open. In January, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began registering physicians and hospitals in 11 states for the EMR incentive program announced in 2009 as part of the federal stimulus package. Registration for California began in February, and the rest of the country should be up and running by the end of the year. Physicians could be eligible for up to $44,000 in bonuses over five years through Medicare and up to $63,750 over six years through Medicaid.
*This blog post was originally published at A Medical Writer's Musings on Medicine, Health Care, and the Writing Life*