EMR Homeostasis

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By David Kovel
Chief Technology Officer
Sage Growth Partners

The rush to Meaningful Use attestation for 2012 is nearly over. A tremendous amount of system, workflow, and productivity has been destroyed and rebuilt. And while providers eagerly wait for their HITECH dollars to arrive, the efficacy of electronic medical records on quality, efficiency, and patient satisfaction is far from realized.

Software vendors continue to distribute patches and emergency hot fixes. Physician offices are in contact with their non-competitive peers to validate what implementation experts have advised and find that there are other, new underlying problems that will be challenging them.

Clinicians may have started out clumsily navigating their new medical record system, but they have become proficient enough to now know that it is the underlying architecture that is holding them back from returning to full productivity. A multiple location network architecture needs to be re-evaluated and its bandwidth (and redundancy) reassessed, databases need tuning, and legacy hardware requires upgrading or replacement. Physicians’ technical support teams have just as much adaptation as the rest of the care team.

The EMR has not quite settled in for most newly adopting practices and the amount of change (and cost) still lies ahead in 2013. I look to facilitate getting our healthcare system back to homeostasis.