Interoperability Fears

When you get right down to it, lots of individuals and organizations fear interoperability. I am finding a great deal of resistance to the notion of the real deal of single sign-on longitudinal type record across organizations interoperability. Most want to only emit little squirts of electronic data and only under pressure to do so.

Many fear ‘their’ records and ‘their’ patients being ‘stolen’ from them by other organizations, practitioners or whomever. Because the ‘other’ organizations and practitioners will steal but they won’t. Classic Prisoner’s Dilemma thinking.

Those fears are very powerful and in my opinion not rational in the face of a nationwide doctor shortage. Convincing others to change under those emotional circumstances is very difficult. I am wrestling with that now.

My fear is that classic interoperability notions and architectures ‘work’ about as well as government ‘works’. I further fear what the government might promulgate in the name of interoperability when it isn’t a software issue.

Major Hole in eRX

Cancellation of medication orders already sent to the Pharmacy by eRX is only possible with less than 2% of pharmacies. The SCRIPT standard allows for change/cancel and you can possibly send it with the ordering software but less than 2% of pharmacies can receive the order. Therefore for most pharmacies it can only be done by laboriously calling the pharmacy, being put on hold, giving the information and waiting for them to do it. We tell the patient to not fill what was incorrect and let the order expire. It is not optimal.

OpenEMR Success Stories

OpenEMR has several new adopters sharing their success stories in the OpenEMR User Forum. Several of the new OpenEMR users discuss using Tablet PCs with WiFi, reducing transcription costs by $40,000 annually, and quick adoption and acceptance by office staff.

Dr. Sam B. writes : “We have already let go 3 transciptionists ($40,000 on annual budget). Our paper and toner costs have dropped about 40%. Our filing is all caught up and “the chart hunt” has improved by about 95%. The staff were immediately impressed with the improved communication in the office. I have been printing office notes for our Urgent Care patients – letting them take a printed note to their primary care physician.”

Mike S. writes : “The physicians use Tablet PC’s with Wi-Fi to connect to the server which runs the 2.5.0 software.”

A 12 provider clinic in Santa Fe, New Mexico is running an OpenEMR pilot.

These are only a few of our success stories. We have many more success stories, plus exciting news for those concerned about open source adoption by the health industry.

OpenEMR has been working with a new Pennsylvania vendor that specializes in voice recognition services using the most prominent medical voice recognition software. That vendor is now able to assist you with integrating voice recognition services for use with OpenEMR.

If you have questions, you can send them to the OpenEMR mailing lists or post them in the OpenEMR User Forum.