The resolution recites a list of deficiencies for EHR and CPOE systems, including how they "decrease efficiency and timeliness of care," "may increase physician liability and put patients at risk" and how there is a lack of regulations for "commercially available CPOE developers to provide timely and on-site support, particularly in hospital settings."
I thought there must be a back story to this, and there is: Many physicians at 108-bed Duncan (Okla.) Regional Hospital were unhappy with its new CPOE system. Or so says Dr. Robert Weedn, a general, thoracic and vascular surgeon and fifth-generation physician in private practice with admitting privileges at Duncan Regional.
Weedn is "soon to be 71" and started practicing in 1973. He describes the Duncan area as a place where there are "35 docs who see 40,000 people." He also says he liked the hospital's information technology system's ability to share X-ray and lab reports and physician notes, but says its CPOE system leaves a lot to be desired.
He adds that Duncan Regional is a "very sophisticated hospital, it serves the community very well," but the CPOE system is starting to have some private-practice doctors such as himself questioning the value of working with the facility. This is reflected in the resolution, which includes the clause:
"Whereas, some younger, as well as older physicians, because of the inefficiencies of the new EMR and CPOE systems, are choosing to cease inpatient hospital practice and practice only outpatient or office-based medicine …"
Weedn acknowledges that some people have told him "this is modern medicine; people have to accept it," but he notes that the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives also has recently called for a slower pace to the federal government's IT adoption timeline. Weedn says this schedule is partly to blame for implementation problems.
"The timeline put the vendors in the driver's seat, and is having people accept products that they wouldn't accept otherwise," Weedn says. "Because of the federal mandate, everyone is over the barrel."
Weedn has taken a leadership role in state and local medical organizations, and he served as an Oklahoma representative to the AMA House of Delegates for 10 years. He took his issues with Duncan Regional's CPOE system to the Stephens County Medical Society, which then took the issue to the Oklahoma State Medical Association, which then took it nationally.
I wasn't able to reach Roger Neal, Duncan Regional's chief information officer and vice president of IT, but if you want to read the other side of the story, he has written about it on HealthSystemCIO.com.
Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks.