It’s time, the walter said . . . to talk of many things . . .

As the nation sits sidelined, not because of snow, but rather waiting to hear what is likely to happen to ObamaCare, the basic question, really, remains how meaningful is “Meaningful Use’?”

I got a message this morning with the subject line ’The CASE for EMR to PM Interface a Win-Win strategy”. The sender hits on the inadvisability of “one size fits all” but goes on to say “There is a concerted push back by clinics to keep their existing PM system and choose the EMR system they like best” with the obvious remedy of contracting with this particular company to “bridge” the gap.

This, to me, clearly is a thrust to “do what you have to do to sell what you have for sale” but shouldn’t an EMR reasonably be the core component of a Practice Management system,  therefore why would anyone want to hay-wire together two otherwise incompatible products?

What makes this pitch even more puzzling is that if it is true that older PMs are not able to qualify for “meaningful use” why would anyone want to keep these?

Now, to get back to the meaningfulness of “Meaningful Use” it just plain makes no sense to pay $100,000 to get a one-time incentive of around $50,000.

Most of what is called “Meaningful Use” software isn’t – there are no great ongoing benefits in staff efficiency, patient throughput, admin/clinical error reduction, improved compliance with internal/external rules and regulations in software that has been quickly cobbled together to meet the minimalist incentive criteria.

If you care to take note of the European Commission’s 2009 EHR Impact Study you will see for yourself it takes something like 4-9 years to get payback on what supposedly is a proper EHR but who knows what a “proper” EHR is and whether they are perhaps talking instead of an EMR or a hybrid EMR/EHR?


Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, major crimes case management, healthcare services delivery, and b2b/b2c/b2d transactions. (C) 2010-2019 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions.
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