Why Doctors buy the Wrong EMR Software?

I am amazed at the number of calls I get from small practices and physicians that are not happy with their current EMR / EHR system and are looking for something better. I started talking to them and tried to probe them a bit more about the real reasons. As with any 'disease', the outward manifestation of symptoms can be different from the disease itself. This is exactly what I found. At the top of the list was something that surprised me.

They all invested in EMR for the wrong reason!

This is what I heard -

  • Wanted to get the stimulus money
  • We have to do it anyway, might as well...
  • If we don't do it, there will be penalties

These are all the negative reasons for making an investment. Among practices that were not happy with their choice, I did not hear a single person give me a 'positive' reason for making an investment in EHR.

So, I went ahead and interviewed Physicians that were not only happy, but thought their systems actually made their practice more efficient, and improved their quality of life. When asked the same question - 'Why did you buy an EMR/EHR system?', I got completely different reasons -

  • I wanted to eliminate waste and make my staff more productive
  • I was looking for ways to automate certain functions that were time consuming
  • We wanted to go paperless and become more efficient
  • We wanted to reduce errors in billing and have our processes optimized
  • I want to run my Practice like a Real Business

So, there you have it - Don't Buy EMR for the Wrong Reason.