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Why Aren’t We Using Electronic Health Records?

Greg sent me a link to a story: Doctors too slow to embrace electronic health records.

My first reaction was “Of course doctors don’t want to use electronic health record systems. Have you looked at them? They’re nasty!”

Now, physicians are notorious for resisting change, but we need to step back and think about why they might be resisting this particular change. I see some seeds of it in the CBC article. Almost all of the touted benefits are about making health care professionals do their job better. That’s an important goal, but the only way you’re going to get widespread buy-in is if you also make their job easier. If there was ever an area that’s ripe for user-centric design, it’s this one.


  1. Larry Reid wrote:

    Another factor in the slow uptake is that there’s no significant benefit to the doctor using the EMR (which would be the physician’s contribution to an EHR). The real benefit is to other healthcare providers and the healthcare system as a whole — and to the patient, of course.

    In the UK, they got doctors to use an EMR by tying their compensation to the quality of their electronic records. In BC we’re not going that far, but we will be subsidizing the acquisition and support costs for primary care physicians to buy EMRs.

    Irving’s right about the user interface on some EMRs/EHRs. Improving them would go a long way to getting more up-take.

    Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 3:15 pm | Permalink
  2. Diane wrote:

    I didn’t read the CBC report, but aren’t some doctors resistant because of privacy issues?

    Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 12:41 am | Permalink
  3. Diane wrote:

    I didn’t read your comments, but I think your article is very intriguing because of the words used …


    Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 12:45 am | Permalink
  4. Diane wrote:

    Comments are unhealthy to pick when they are ripe.

    Anonymous (guess who?)

    Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 12:48 am | Permalink
  5. Susan (Greer) Bowen wrote:

    Hey. How amazing to bump into you online after …. well… so many years. As it turns out I have an interest in EMR’s.

    ‘Tanyrate, it would be great to hear how you are, what life is like for you, etc. Drop a line if you can.

    Friday, November 30, 2007 at 2:19 am | Permalink