This post, written by myself and my brother Dino, represents our stance on EHRs. Please, let us know how you feel about it. We invite you to share some juicy details about your special relationship with your EHR.
What if I tell you that the Future and EHR, shouldn’t be in the same sentence?
I know this is a bold statement and so-called healthcare IT experts will try to tear me apart for saying it, but if you’re a doctor you will probably understand my point.
Despite the gazillions in spending over last 60 years EHR still sucks.
After all initiatives and promises, nothing has changed. It still does more harm than good, and it is still major source of frustration for doctors worldwide.
Although we’re aware of this, we’re built to believe that after all this suffering the promised land is waiting for us.
Every five to ten years some miraculous new technology comes along to save EHRs from disaster. From the Internet through Mobile Devices to Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence today.
The result is and will always be the same – FAILURE.
Don’t get me wrong, technology is beautiful and technological changes are inevitable.
Unfortunately, our problems with EHRs won’t be solved with such changes.
These problems lay deep in design and concept, not in technology.
They make you hate EHR and I am ready to highlight why.
Obviously physicians and EHRs live in weird kind of marriage; they spend time together but don’t love each other.
If we start from the beginning we will find first reason for this.
Most of the doctors didn’t choose their EHR’s. They missed the first date, first kiss, butterflies in the stomach, and they probably weren’t even ready for a relationship in the first place.
Just like forced marriage in undeveloped cultures, one day a man in a suit simply came along and said, “You will use this from now to the end of your life.”
They sucked all joy out of the process of choosing by simply removing it.
Instead, hospital leadership is obligated to pick a one-size-fits-all solution from a portfolio of solutions that are “certified” by big interest groups.
You already know how this ends.
Stuck With Frankenstein
You end up spending your precious time with ugly and poorly designed solution.
Your EHR feels like it’s developed for the Commodore SX-64, an old computer made a few decades ago. This is not a coincidence, since all conceptual changes on these systems were made a few decades ago.
Just the same as the first EHR systems, Commodore was made primarily for IT geeks.
The only thing that separate these two products is evolution. The Commodore evolved in something more simple and beautiful, and EHR stayed ugly and became even more complex.
To fight against disappointed physicians, EHR providers will say: “Medicine is complex so our system needs to look comprehensive.”
Their agenda is to confuse you and make you feel stupid.
It’s a one-way relationship; they already know what you need without even listening to you.
Who are you to complain about design? You should believe in their strange design preferences…
Avoiding fundamental changes and being ignorant to a physician’s opinion, resulted with embracing an absolutely damaging design philosophy – Adding More Philosophy!
This philosophy assumes that every problem can be solve by adding new features, fields, or screens.
As someone who uses EHR, you know this isn’t a case.
Adding more doesn’t necessary mean adding more value, but almost always brings complexity to the end user.
Modern doctors need to click 2000 – 4000 times every day and these clicks aren’t no-brainers like those on Facebook or Instagram.
Every one of them represents tiny decisions, and the amount of decision making demolishes your energy and makes you feel disconnect from the real world.
Everything, But Nothing That Doctors Like
The saddest of all, is the fact that devoted energy and “click festivals” won’t cover actions, which are crucial for the doctors and patients’ wellbeing.
The main goal of this software’s is to generate the documentation beyond billable transactional care episodes.
It’s basically a data entry station built to align doctors with CPT,ICD-10&11, MU, PQRS, JC, HIPAA and other odd abbreviations.
On the contrary, all features to support doctors’ decision-making are falsely implemented.
There is nothing to boost your relationship with patients or colleagues in EHR.
You won’t even be able to track what really happens with your patients after the treatment.
Apparently, all parts of care that make doctors happier and patients healthier aren’t important.
To be more precise, they aren’t billable.
Yeah, it’s obvious that EHR workflows ignore the fundamentals of caring, but the problems don’t stop there.
These super expensive and “comprehensive” systems have not yet found an effective way to share information between themselves.
So, not only can you not communicate with your patients and colleges through EHR, but since you rarely have complete information about the case, it will be hard to communicate with them outside of it too.
You’re lucky if you can share patient data between different departments of your organization.
In my local hospital doctors can’t even do that.
Actually, there is only one thing that all EHRs share – they all stand between doctors and their patients.
Can We Move The Elephant?
Let’s be honest.
All regulations, initiatives and campaigns are just ways to keep our hope alive while nothing happens.
The transformation of EHRs into something lovable won’t happen. Conceptual change isn’t in the interest of money-makers.
The core of this software will always stay the same. It will always be an administrative system that is good for only one thing – keeping doctors aligned with industrial healthcare interests.
To secure their steady revenue growth EHR providers will stay part of the problem also. For years, they’ve been “okay” with earning a lot of money while delivering no value.
In fact, we are the only people who can change things – doctors and patients who are heavily affected by removing Care from HealthCare.
Let’s imagine a world without EHRs, a world where doctors care about patients and others care about data entry.
Don’t let them scare you, so you think that this is not possible. Oh, it is possible. The world looks so suck, until one day it changes. Until all of us stand up and say ENOUGH.