WHY are you a Physician? Most of the doctors don't think of this question any more unless you just graduated. You don’t think about why you chose the medical profession. It has probably been your life for a long time, but if you had to think about it, I would venture to guess that it had to do with joining (as a human being) a unique profession which is given by our society great responsibilities and challenges at the same time. You have been entrusted lives of others in your own hands.
You are different from an airline pilot that is also responsible for the lives of many but that also includes their own. When you save a life it is not because doing so saves your own lives.
There is more to being a doctor than society's approval. There is a genuine good feeling from doing good. There is a sense of fulfillment.
Then of course, there is the comfort in doing all this that you are being financially well compensated and assuming you have the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, you can 'own' the best things that the material world has to offer.
If your motive was altruistic, that's fantastic, but then WHY are you in your OWN Practice? WHY not just work for a hospital or large group?
Your human need for being helpful to society being fulfilled, you start looking at the financial side of things. You start looking at who you are as a person. You enjoy the freedom; both personal and financial, of being in charge of your own destiny. You like being your own boss. Being in your own Practice, being in your own Business affords you all of that, and hopefully more.
Time flies, you quickly find out grass is not as green as it looked. Being in business has its own set of challenges. Ranging from managing human resources, paying bills and balancing books to decreasing reimbursements from payors. Compound that with the fact that you seem to have 'lost' your life. Look at the first WHY - Why you chose the medical profession. You are probably still dedicated to your patients, but then you have sacrificed something along the way. You no longer have a 'life' or freedom to pursue your other dreams, your hobbies, spending quality time with your family.
You embark on a Mission to Save Yourself.
You've worked hard to become a Doctor. You've worked hard to establish yourself in the commuity, sharpen your skills. Your patients like you, your peers respect you. Employees adore you (hopefully!). Your family respects you, but you need their love not respect. You need time for you, your family and do things that you're promised yourself you'll do some day.
In the meantime, the world of Healthcare is turning upside down. CMS is pressuring you to go 'digital'.
The general concensus is that it will, over time, improve patient care, reduce costs, make healthcare more affordable for the overall population. But what about you - the Provider? They didn't ask you did they? Anyway, you decide to jump on to the bandwagon.
Because if you don't, you'll be outdated, your reimbursements will be cut and you will miss out on the attractive 'EHR Incentives' that CMS is giving out - a nifty $44,000 worth (for Medicare). Then you convince yourself, we're being forced to do it, so hey, why not take advantage of it?
Wait a minute - the WHY became WHY NOT.
Along the way, you lost something. You lost the purpose. You lost the vision. Go back and read the first two WHYs. You see what I am saying? Honestly, it is ok to go Digital. But for God's sake, don't do it for the wrong reason. Don't do it as WHY NOT. Do it for the real reason.
Do it because you want to reclaim your life.
EHR or EMR or whatever the hotshot consultants decide to call it needs to be recognized for what it is; just a tool. Before you buy or acquire anything, don't forget to ask WHY. Then connect that WHY to the first WHY and the second WHY.
WHY should I buy an EMR? Will it improve my quality of life? Will it give me myself back? Will it put quality into my life again? If not, don't get it. Because by getting it, you're just going to make things worse. It will be one more 'master' to which you have to answer and bow down everyday.
Seek out tools, technologies, widgets, that gives you the Real answer to your WHY. Is there such a thing or are we dreaming of Utopia?
I believe there is. It is perhaps disguised under a cloak of some lame name. Perhaps there is an 'Apple' out there. Even apple has to call their cool stuff - guess what - computers, and smartphones. But, it is not 'just' a computer is it? So, are such hidden gems out there that will give you your life back. They may be hiding behind the 'EMR' curtain. Seek them out.
When you ask for a 'demonstration', seek to answer the WHYs. Your WHYs. Don't fall for the trap of can it do this, can it do that.
Let's seek out these hidden WHY-Busters together.