EMRs and Healthcare and the 2014 deadline

EMR Comic

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Healthcare discussions seem to be everywhere you go  now, whether its the crazy behaviours at protests or the worry about all this is going to be implemented. For those of you who are interested, here are a couple items that crossed my path in the last 24 hours:

Electronic Records For All Patients Mandated By 2014:  

Many who have worked in the medical record industry have been waiting for decades to have an increased governmental push towards adoption of electronic record systems. To date, development and adoption of these systems (of which there are many kinds of electronic medical records) has been an industry led initiative that has proceeded with fits and starts. The Act calls for electronic medical records for all patients by 2014.

Also, tonight there will also be a conference call with David Axelrod. If you are a member of the Organizing for America website, you probably received an invitation.  I registered late last night. On the registration form, you are given the ability to enter a question that might get answered during the call. One of my questions:

I know that having Electronic Medical Records is one of the goals of healthcare reform. I agree this is a wonderful goal that will help improve care. Doing this will be very complicated. Applications are regularly tried and have failed (you can see some issues here: https://tegloff.wordpress.com/tag/emr/). Designing a successful system will require a strong usability presence. I have not heard much about user involvement or professional usability designers being involved in this. What is the plan to ensure that whatever is developed will be accepted by the medical community?

I do believe we need to head in the direction of EMRs. I also believe that if we do not do it in the right way, it will not be accepted by the medical community and/or it could actually decrease the care patients get, rather than increase it. So, lets hope we get EMRs… and lets make sure usability practitioners are involved to ensure it is accepted by the end users!

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