More thoughtful analysis of the American EMR experience courtesy of the KevinMD.com website.
It is becoming apparent that more and more EMR users are finding themselves trapped with an EMR that they either did not want, or that they signed up for only because of fire sale prices enabled by government subsidization.
Hmmmm… sounds familiar…
The result is that customer satisfaction is in freefall.
Yet more evidence that the New Brunswick approach of “my way or the highway” is wrong.
Read on to find out why, and how we could do things differently here:
I Despise My EHR, But I’m Still Using It
As the New Brunswick EMR dream of “One Patient, One Record” continues to unravel and costs skyrocket there is growing recognition outside of the realm of the New Brunswick Medical Society that the key to successful and meaningful use of electronic medical records lies in getting disparate systems to talk to each other. It is abundantly clear that we need a variety of EMR software packages to fit a variety of physician needs, and that these products need to be able to exchange data with a minimum of fuss and bother.
Achieving this might be akin to finding the Holy Grail, at least according to a recent article by Dr. Eric Cadesky of Vancouver, published in the June 2015 edition of “Future Practice.” The analogy fits to a degree, but a better analogy might be finding the Rosetta Stone, the original “interoperability engine.”
You can read the full article here: Interoperability: The Holy Grail of EMR’s
The message is clear, and there is a rising tide of voices opposed to the suppression of information sharing as exemplified by the curiously named Data Sharing Agreement between the New Brunswick government and the New Brunswick Medical Society.
Time to step back and rethink the plan. Blindly pursuing a model which relies on a single EMR vendor runs counter to what is best for patients and the medical community. We need interoperability, and the sooner the better. If we are to make any progress toward that goal, we need buy-in on the part of the NBMS and the New Brunswick government.
Sadly, we have neither.
Congratulations, New Brunswick, 58 percent of your doctors cite lack of “compatibility with other electronic systems” as a barrier to accessing electronic medical records. Coincidentally (or not), we are the only province with an ironically named “Data Sharing Agreement” which severely limits access to patient data for a large proportion of EMR users.
A full 40% of New Brunswick physicians said access to electronic records was “unsatisfactory,” much higher than even Newfoundland, which came in second with 30.7%. Only 4% of New Brunswick doctors said access was “excellent,” ranking us second worst in the country. Only Quebec scored lower with 3.6%.
Time to smarten up and get with the program, New Brunswick. Information silos are NOT helpful. Interoperability is the way of the future.
Abolish the Data Sharing Agreement now!
More information from the latest National Physician Survey is available here: NPS 2014
Canadian Medical Association President Dr. Chris Simpson wrote this excellent commentary for “Future Practice,” the CMA publication which examines issues related to technology and medicine. Clearly he supports the concepts of interoperability between EMR and EHR systems, and finding a good fit between individual physicians and the EMR products currently available.
Have a read. It seems very straightforward.
Unfortunately, New Brunswick remains mired in a regressive single-vendor environment, promoted jointly by the Department of Health and the New Brunswick Medical Society.
New Brunswick remains the only jurisdiction in the country which bans all but one EMR vendor from digitally linking to provincial health information databases. Patients, doctors, and the I.T. industry are all losers in this regrettable and embarrassing morass.
Kudos to Dr. Simpson for his progressive and intelligent approach.
Building a better EMR