A big moment for physician IT


Today and tomorrow, I'll be at the Medical Group Management Association meeting in Philadelphia getting a reality check on physician practice issues. I'm excited to be here. I think we've arrived at a big moment for the business of medicine, particularly where IT issues are concerned.

Sure, there's always been IT management issues for medical group practice managers to consider, but it's probably been decades since so many disruptive technologies have been on the table.  We're talking not only EMRs, which pose probably the biggest challenge to physician practice patterns, budgets and business operations, but also e-prescribing, 'virtual visit' approaches, portals and new, healthcare-specific mobile applications. It's a heady mix.

With any luck, I'll pick up success stories on how medical practices are implementing some of these emerging tools. I'm particularly hoping that I can find people from of the one- to nine-physician practice to discuss their IT issues, as everyone agrees that such practices face the toughest time going forward with IT adoption. But I'll be happy to hear about any instance in which a medical group large or small improved care, improved patient satisfaction or (naturally) made more money.

In the process, I'm fully expecting to hear some venting. After all, I'm sure many physicians are irritated by mounting pressure to use these technologies--hey, I would be if someone gave me a new, expensive, unfamiliar gadget and forced me to write FierceHealthIT with it.

With any luck, though, attendees will find the support they need to survive this big technology moment without enduring too much pain. After all, once the difficult transition period is over, I think there's going to be some exciting new possibilities not only for the business of medicine, but the practice of it as well.  (I'll share more on these possibilities in future FHIT issues, so stay tuned.) - Anne

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