Originally published: April 27, 2010
Last updated: November 29, 2010 - 11:39am
Some physicians may be tempted to put off the inevitable, trying to postpone the disruption and expense of moving to electronic health records. Why not wait five or six years? Maybe it will get easier? Less expensive? For several reasons.
First, the sooner physicians start using an EHR, the sooner they and their patients will realize its benefits - the ability to share patient data with colleagues and patients, the ability to retrieve old data effortlessly, the ability to access patient records remotely, so they answer patient questions intelligently from home, or even from a medical meeting. Second, right now, the federal government is making a once in a lifetime, never to be repeated, offer: it will help physicians pay for the transition with up to $44,000 in extra fees from Medicare, or $63,750 from Medicaid. Physicians can take the leap now with financial and technical help from the government. Or they can do it on their own (or facing a financial penalty) in five years. Third, anyone who is building a practice, and wanting to recruit young, talented physicians needs to confront the reality that the next generation will expect and demand that their own medical home have a modern information system. I know this from personal experience. With two children in medical school, and a daughter in law who is an intern, I know young physicians will never settle for paper records. Wait, and the cream of the recruiting crop will pass you by.
To me the choice is clear. Physicians' professional, clinical and financial interests all point in the same direction. Become part of the future. Become a meaningful user of an electronic health record.
- Questions surround health IT money
- Electronic records no panacea for health care industry
- Electronic Medical Records and Communication with Patients and Other Clinicians: Are We Talking Less?
- Feds urged to dial-up care coordination goals
- Physician, Steel Thyself for Electronic Records
- Doctors Get Dose of Technology From Insurers
- Doctors question benefits of electronic records
- Participatory medicine: A high-tech alliance with patients
- Clicking with your doctor
- Getting Docs to Use PCs
- Hello Health raises $11.5 Million to help doctors go paper-free
- More doctors adopting EHRs to improve patient care and safety
- Panel Offers Initial Criteria for Defining 'Meaningful Use'
- Barriers slow switch to electronic medical records
- Combing Medical Records for Research