Is government EHR promotion slowing adoption, and is slow so bad?

Increased government promotion of EHRs since 2004 may actually be boosting physician resistance to change, and thus slowing down adoption, though one cybersecurity expert suggests that it may not be a bad idea to ease off the accelerator for a while.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association suggests that physician resistance to EHR adoption actually slowed between 2005 and 2007, compared with the 2001-04 period. It was in 2004 that President George W. Bush called for interoperable EHRs for most Americans within 10 years; then he created the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and sent Dr. David Brailer out on a whirlwind speaking tour. The study's author suggests to iHealthBeat that the government activity had the unintended consequence of increasing bad press about EHR failures and other glitches, possibly contributing to physician resistance.

However, writing in PC World, risk, fraud and security analyst Robert Vamosi says that slow and steady is a good option because data security could get lost in the rush to replace paper records with digital versions.

To learn more about these important issues:
- check out the iHealthBeat piece
- read the abstract of the JAMIA study
- see Vamosi's commentary in PC World