brand logo

Fam Pract Manag. 2007;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.


Send your comments to Submission of a letter will be construed as granting AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. We cannot respond to all letters we receive. Those chosen for publication will be edited for length and style.

Continue Reading

More in FPM

More in PubMed

Copyright © 2007 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP.  See permissions for copyright questions and/or permission requests.