Do Patients Really Believe in eMRs?

Not Necessarily

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™


A NPR / Kaiser / Harvard School of Public Health patient opinion poll of more than a year ago [Aril 2009], demonstrated that for the most part, patients believed that just spending money on eMR’s was not going to improve their health or bring down health care costs.

The Personal Touch

In fact, the most important part, it seems, is their relationship with their doctor [ie, trust].

Link: Harvard


So, how does this square with the following tends?

  • Patient-Doctor face time is decreasing.
  • Doctors avoid eye contact because of poor keyboarding computer input skills.
  • Some medical schools may abandon courses in physical diagnosis.


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3 Responses

  1. On the Negative Effects of eMRs
    [Do Doctors Really Believe?]

    Twenty-four percent of the 2,958 physicians responding to a survey about the new healthcare reform law and the impact of electronic medical records indicated EMRs would have a negative effect on patient care. Respondents also indicated they were worried that healthcare reform would result in less pay for them and lower-quality care for their patients.



  2. This is shocking, friends! According to the study Mark quotes, one in four physicians think eHRs will cause more harm than help. So what’s the threshold for the Hippocratic Oath to come into play?

    Do you also find excitement in healthcare reform’s surprises like the one Mark mentioned? Experiencing the sudden, last minute turns healthcare reform has taken lately is like riding shotgun with Mayhem behind the wheel, texting. Here’s other discouraging news from the same HCPlexus-Thompston Reuters survey of almost 3000 physicians. I discovered it upon following the link titled “5-page Executive Summary”—2011-Thomson-Reuters-HCPlexus-National-P

    “A surprising 45% of all respondents indicated they did not know what an [Accountable Care Organization] is, exposing a much lower awareness of ACOs versus the broader implications of [the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)]. It appears there has been a lack of physician education in this area.”

    Since I also had no idea what an ACO is, I searched the term and came across a timely article that was posted on NPR only days ago titled, “Accountable Care Organizations, Explained.”

    Author Jenny Gold writes: “ACOs are a new model for delivering health services that offers doctors and hospitals financial incentives to provide good quality care to Medicare beneficiaries while keeping down costs.” Does that remind anyone of insurance HMO promises just before the bad idea collided with surprisingly intelligent consumers in the early 1990s? Kelly Devers, a senior fellow at the nonprofit Urban Institute, is quoted: “Some people say ACOs are HMOs in drag,” Now there’s a sharp turn the administration hasn’t warned us about.

    Further blurring the difference between ACOs and HMOs, Gold adds “An ACO is a network of doctors and hospitals that shares responsibility for providing care to patients. Under the new law, ACOs would agree to manage all of the health care needs of a minimum of 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries for at least three years.” I wonder if we’ll see a resurrection of HMO gag orders preventing physicians from discussing effective but expensive treatment alternatives not offered by the ACO.

    As expected, not only are hospitals and doctors competing for the opportunity to run ACOs, but so are former HMO insurance agents. Devers explains, “Insurers say they can play an important role in ACOs because they track and collect data on patients, which is critical for coordinating care and reporting on the results.” As a provider, do you trust UnitedHealth’s Ingenix data mining tendencies? A few years ago, NY State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo spanked the company for selling insurers pseudo-scientific excuses to cheat out-of-network physicians.

    Just like Health Maintenance Organizations don’t maintain health, insurer-based Accountable Care Organizations will not bring accountability to care any more than the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides patient protection and affordable care. And since I’m exposing blatant bi-partisan deceptions, there is no privacy or accountability in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and the “HIPAA Administrative Simplification Statute and Rules Act” doesn’t.

    Gold suggests that because HITECH rules were written intentionally vague in order to push the envelope of stakeholders’ imaginations, similar to HIPAA’s ineffective security rules I suppose, the doctors’ predictable ignorance of ACOs is understandable.

    But then again, all this may not even matter in a few months. According to Howard Anderson, Executive Editor of, HITECH funding itself is threatened. He recently posted “GOP Bill Would Gut HITECH Funding – Unobligated HITECH Act Funds Would be Eliminated.”
    While Obama’s healthcare reform teeters between two houses, I encourage consumers to plead with their lawmakers to stop being suckered in my meaningless buzzwords sprinkled in the titles of bills. I’m hoping we can at least get them to read a little deeper.

    Be on your toes because mayhem is “recalculating.”

    D. Kellus Pruitt


  3. EHR copy-and-paste function
    [Fraud or efficiency?]

    Though electronic health records are touted as a time and money saver to physicians and their staff, one of their top time-saving functions is being called into question for increasing fraud.

    And, with all due respect, I warned of this potential 2 decades ago!

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA


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