At the TEPR (Towards the Electronic Patient Record) conference this week, EMR fans were reminded that this movement is now more than a quarter of a century old, yet hasn't exactly seen great success in the U.S. Attendees were also warned that spending money without planning and without involving doctors may lead to great disappointment. A senior representative of the AMA said that doctors were deeply suspicious of pay-for-performance and would view cuts in Medicare fees as a direct assault which they would resist politically. He demanded that physicians be directly rewarded for adopting IT, but that adoption should be voluntary. Large physician groups and hospitals are moving down the treacherous path toward clinical automation. But to get the benefits of EMRs we need to get smaller physician practices and smaller hospitals on board. That will require a significant degree of political capital and subtlety, and how this plays out is by no means certain.
The markets will be closed on Monday and so will we. FierceHealthcare will be back on Tuesday. Have a great weekend! - Matthew