When reform collides with EHR…

If I remember my physics correctly, there’s no discernable difference between screaming in a vacuum and not screaming in a vacuum, unless of course someone turns it on while you’re in it, and then by default, you’re screaming. That seemed to make sense to me during my run, but seeing it on the screen isn’t doing much for me. Ever since I tore my Achilles I can’t run as far, and I’ve gained a few pounds. I feel like I’m in my first trimester-running for two of us, sort of a Shamu in Nikes.

Enough about me.  Here’s the deal. There seems to be a slight shifting of the winds in terms of those who now believe reform will work.  The winds are blowing more towards the skeptics.  Who among us can articulate what is included in the reform effort in a single PowerPoint slide?  (Can you picture Ross Perot with his slides and wooden pointer?)  If we can’t explain the reform effort to ourselves, how then can we explain the business problem we’re trying to solve with EHR?  Until you’re comfortable articulating the benefits to your organization—not the ones spelled out on a dot-gov web site, you’re better off holding on to your checkbook.

The current EHR/healthcare reform effort violates Keynes’ third law of shopaholics anonymous–just because something you can’t afford and don’t need goes on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it. (Unless of course it impresses your friends.)  In addition to the trillion dollar stimulus, maybe the government was awarded discount coupons–20% off on EHR if redeemed before the payors own the providers.

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