Another EHR myth


Fam Pract Manag. 2007 May;14(5):11-12.

As a medical informaticist, I read Dr. David E. Trachtenbarg's article “EHRs Fix Everything – and Nine Other Myths” [March 2007] with interest. I would like to suggest a myth that was forgotten: “Purchasing software licenses, hardware, service contracts, etc., is the only way to acquire a good electronic health record system.” Don't fall for it!

More and more Internet-hosted EHRs are joining the market each day. These have predictable costs that make it easier to calculate your potential return on investment. These systems offer several other advantages, including much more rapid response time from the vendor – they only have to fix bugs or apply upgrades once, to one system.

I do think there are good reasons not to purchase any EHR: The market is not mature, interoperability is poor, and few products actually deliver value. Yet there is huge potential for EHRs to improve patient care while also cutting costs, improving revenue and making documentation less of a chore. Medicine is simply too complex (and too risky) these days to practice without help, and effective health care information technology will someday be as important as the ultrasound is to us today.


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