What’s The Effect of EMR-Adoption Refusers On a Practice?

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I remember well working with the surgeon and the EMR on his minor surgery days in the clinic. He was of retirement age and was an engaging and easy-to-work-with professional. But he wasn’t adopting the EMR. He was enjoying thinking about his retirement. So I helped him navigate the EMR for the charting while I took care of entering the lab and coding sides of the encounter. Pretty standard stuff for how we did the minor surgery cases. It was fun.

We were an active growing clinic with a modern EMR system. With lots of medical residents and students coming and going throughout the clinic. Few people of retirement age.

I was reminded of this recently when the subject came up of how a practice’s EMR adoption is impacted by the age and tech-savviness of the providers on board. Maybe you know of a time when a provider wasn’t going to go near the EMR no matter what administration did. This was probably a few years back, before the ACCA mandated the EMR adoption and told healthcare that if it wants to maximize Fed reimbursement it’ll go down the EMR road fully.

Sometimes I still hear stories of Dr. So-and-so raising havoc by declaring to hold out until he’s out the door. But as new providers enter the day-to-day practice, the tech nature of practices will, of course, proliferate more and more. Health 2.0 here we come.

So the question that comes to mind is, what’s the best way clinicians smooth ruffled feathers caused by EMR-adoption refusal?

How do senior non-tech-savvy staff react to junior staff and residents who know their way around the EMR?

Do we just tolerate the grumblings (and worse) of the relatively few remaining holdouts as we march toward an ever-enlarging HIT? Do we continue to invite the non-adopters to join us as we find the best ways to implement and stitch together these gangly systems?

For more about the effects of EMR-adoption refusal, this 2013 article is helpful (though it doesn’t speak to EMR usability design), Understanding Electronic Medical Record Adoption in the United States: Communication and Sociocultural Perspectives.

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