As a long-time advocate and user of electronic health records in oncology, I have recognized that the short-term barriers to adoption are one of the primary reasons for slow adoption. In addition to financial cost, which could be overcome with positive incentives and/or penalties, the extremely taxing process of converting existing records from paper to an EHR as well as converting existing doctors from paper to an EHR (i.e., changing work patterns) prevents initiation of a process with clear long-term benefits.
In addition, although widespread adoption of EHRs will result in broad benefits to doctors, practices and patients, most small-practice early adopters have not realized the degree of savings projected by software vendors nor the recognition they expected from third-party payers to help offset their cost and effort. The early adopters need to be appropriately recognized and appreciated in order to enlist their support and enthusiasm in recruiting the next wave of EHR enlistees.
Richard Leff, M.D.Managing partnerSmall Dog in the Corner ConsultingAtlanta To submit a letter to the Modern Physician Reader Blog, click here. Please include your name, title, company and hometown.