Opinion: Clinician objections to EHRs are 'bogus,' rife with entitlement

Clinicians and healthcare providers have long voiced their opposition to federally mandated HER requirements, with some even claiming that EHRs are more harmful than beneficial to patients.

In February, Jeffery Singer, MD, a general surgeon in the metropolitan Phoenix area, wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal explaining why he chose to forgo implementing an EHR altogether. "For all the good intentions of the politicians who passed them, EHRs have harmed my practice and my patients," he wrote.

Paddy Padmanabhan, CEO of Damo Consulting, a firm providing technology, outsourcing and analytics services to healthcare organizations, takes issue with Dr. Singer's approach and mindset regarding EHRs.

In an opinion piece for CIO.com, Mr. Padmanabhan writes, "These are bogus objections that continue to be raised by a community that clings to its past entitlements and easy money attached to little or no accountability. But it also exposes an undercurrent of resistance to change that the general public should be worried about."

Mr. Padmanabhan points to a Rand Corp. study that outlines the three main objections providers have to EHRs: They are costly, they take time away from patient care, and they are difficult to use and not secure.

He writes, however, that clinicians largely ignore some key benefits when speaking out against EHRs. Electronic records, he writes, can reduce expenses by eliminating duplicate tests, improving treatment quality and enabling preventive diagnosis and early intervention, for example.

"At the end of the day, the biggest benefits of technology will accrue from our ability to integrate patient medical information from EHR systems and analyze them in conjunction with data that is going to be available through wearable devices and other consumer health technologies," Mr. Padmanabhan concludes. "If some parts of our physician community do not get this, we need to leave them behind and move on."

More articles on EHRs:

Draft Bill is interoperability game changer in a closed-system culture 
Robert Wachter: IT needs to be part of workflow 
Harvard Public Health physician: MU stage 3 one step, but not enough 

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