Electronic health records didn’t exactly take the world by a storm during 2012. EHRs have been around for quite some time now. A better way to put it would be to say that during 2012, EHRs became “unstoppable.”
For the first time ever, more doctors than not use an EHR. Patients expect their doctors to have digital office technology. Those who are still using paper know that the switch to digital is inevitable.
There are many reasons why EHRs are unstoppable, but here are the most important reasons.
Better products, better experiences. For years, doctors either dealt with or worried about dealing with systems that were out of date and poorly designed. One benefit of having 800+ EHR vendors to choose from is that it has forced vendors to improve their products in order to be more competitive. Most doctors prefer to use voice rather than mouse and keyboard, and vendors are finally starting to implement those preferences into their software. ChartLogic has been a leader in voice-driven charting for nearly 20 years and currently has the most advanced capabilities in the industry.
Government incentives. Say what you will about meaningful use, but it has been a significant driving factor of EHR adoption. The free money the government is offering for using certified EHR technology is appealing enough to get most doctors to commit to changing to EHR. Meaningful use established critical momentum in the EHR adoption sphere, and that momentum likely won’t slow down until every doctor has this technology at his fingertips.
EHR is now the norm. Once something becomes the norm, you can’t stop it. This has been happening to electronic health records software over the past few years. As happens with most technology advances, EHRs are no longer the “thing of the future”; they are now foundational to any medical practice. New features will continue to wow doctors and improve the technology further, but EHRs themselves aren’t going away.