Thursday, April 14, 2011

“Burned” by EMR: Try Ascending into Cloud

Preface: I have long thought many current EMR systems are so flawed many physicians are either discarding them, going back to paper, or seeking alternative systems. This April 13, 2011 WSJ health blog confirms my suspicion.

Athenahealth’s Bush on the Electronic Medical Record ‘Burn Unit’

By Katherine Hobson

Plenty of medical practices spent a lot of time and money to put in place electronic-medical record systems only to find that physicians find them so cumbersome to use that they, well, don’t.

So many, in fact, that Athenahealth has created a group called a “burn unit” to handle these physician practices that have been “burned” by the old systems and are looking for a new solution, the company’s chairman and CEO, Jonathan Bush, told us on a visit to Health Blog HQ.

About 35% of Athenahealth’s new EMR business comes from medical groups that have already tried one of the traditional software systems and aren’t happy with it. In many cases they’re large, hospital-owned physician groups that have either bought the systems themselves, or are unsuccessfully trying to roll out the system used by the hospital.

Athenahealth’s approach to those practices: come in, shut down the systems, extract the data and put the information on the company’s own cloud-based system.

With its own EMR, physicians have to apply to get in on the functionality fun, Bush says. At first, receptionists use the system to check patients in and out. Nurses, with a physician’s okay, put through orders. Doctors needn’t play — they can continue to use whatever paper charts or diagrams they prefer to document clinical visits, and Athenahealth will then scan those into its own system.

And, if doctors wish to get beyond the velvet rope, they can eventually ask to learn to use the system themselves.

Tweet: Jonathan Bush, CEO of Athenahealth, says his firm spends 35% of its time replacing EMRs and transferring their functions to the “cloud.”


electronic medical records said...

Thanks for sharing your opinion. I understand your feelings.



Interesting to hear about this.EMR systems greatly aid clinicians in immediate patient treatment and in capturing key information.

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