From the Tech Editor: Acceptance is key in healthcare technologies

January 25, 2012

Medical Economics' technology editor is on your side, here to help with every matter of health information technology, from barcoding to EHR to mobile apps and more.

Mostly, I've supported the physician's perspective. There hasn't been enough input from doctors when it comes to the design and implementation of the technologies you've been mandated to adopt at your own expense. This technologic "revolution" in healthcare, however, is a long time coming, and by now most physicians with whom I speak understand that they have little choice but to adopt it, regardless of how it affects their practices.

Many of you, however, still resist adopting HIT even though your options are few. Not implementing, say, an EHR, however, simply is not an option for most of you-that is, if you need to prescribe medicine and want to get paid for your services.

All is proceeding well. Some of the updates that we receive from the vendors providing the EHRs do give us pause, however. For example, one practice considered leaving the study simply because it had to adopt user names and passwords to access the EHR.

Individual network logins are the first level of patient data security, the responsibility for which, as you know all too well, is yours under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This particular practice, however, said that the alteration to its daily routine could be a "game changer." Really?

If you share that practice's opinion, consider where healthcare is headed. HIT, regardless of our preconceptions of its ability to improve patient outcomes, is fast becoming the infrastructure on which all healthcare is delivered and practices are reimbursed.

I will delve deeply into those HIT issues facing you and your practice in future columns and will examine positive, as well as negative, outcomes of the adoption of information technology in healthcare.

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