Electronic Medical Records and Blurry Eyes

Only read this post if you are interested in Electronic Medical Records or Practice Management Software, otherwise click one this link to read about what we are doing in San Diego.

Whew!!! It has been an exaustive and exausting 48 hours of research on Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Practice Management Software (PMS) for our San Diego Chiropractic office. Make sure you know the two previous definitions PMS and EMR, as they are used continuously below.
Here are the two most important links I have found so far.

The first one is  EMR Update. This site is the only place where I found any significant data on making our office paperless.

The main thing I have learned is that the opinion of a large number of doctors is that EMR and PMS software companies promote a flawless easy to use product, much more than they actually are.

It appears that Medisoft has been bought and sold 2 or 3 times during the past few years.

Medisoft is definately the most used software by small medical practices.

One of their recent version releases, I believe 10, caused at least a few if not quite a few practices to not be able to use their software for a while until the bugs were fixed.

This reminds me of why I made a decision years ago to never use, brand new technology for vital tasks, but instead to use technology that has been out for at least 6 months, if not 3 years so the kinks can get worked out.

One very interesting company and player in this arena is Mark Anderson of the A.C. Group.  The below is from memory, so I apologize if it is not 100%. He has a company that I believe every 6 months sends a 5000 question survey to every EMR company. The questions are about usability, viability of the company, number of users, and just about everything they or their customers could think of to ask. If the EMR company self rates themselves by their answers above a score of 85% then Mark’s team evaluates the actual software. They also claim that they get a lot of first hand data from employees and other people in the industry about the companies, and obviously feedback from the users themselves. They charge from $1,000 up to $150,000 or so for their services. In Mark’s interview linked to above he talks about one software vendor that he is having a little dispute with. The vendor claims that Mark is financially influenced by the Vendors in his recomendations, but Mark claims no such influence. If nothing else, the conflict actually draws attention to the two of them and serves a good marketing purpose as well! 🙂

Without naming names, I have consistent problems with downloading demos of many of these softwares. So far in fact only one demo out of the many I tried has worked.

I also found an old friend in my data base Shawn at Ability Software. and sent him an alert as to what I am trying to figure out. He sells Medisoft software for a living, and also helps people with their Meidisoft problems. He helped us out on a sticky point a few years ago, and I kept track of him. The research process is going well, and I predict I should have a good answer within a few days, or next weekend. I am sure I will have more to report.

2 Comments

  1. I think that there are two views points to be considered when strongly advocating the use of EMR in practices. For a Doctor it needs to easy to use and save time so that more time can be spend on the patient. Currently we have many vendors with different types of EMR that are so hard to use that it simply puts them off. I think healthcare technology companies need to develop product after regular interaction with doctors to ensure that they provide just what is required. At binaryspectrum we have developed our healthcare solutions after spending countless number of hours with doctors to ensure that its work flow is kept simple and intuitive. This is then followed up with a period of Beta testing in real time environment before it is offered as a product in the market.

  2. dk

    Thanks for the comment Abdul. If someone could create an EMR that could DUPLICATE my paper system, I would be thrilled!
    Thanks for the info,

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