EMRs May or May Not Save Money

Two recent studies came out that seem to be contradicting each other.  One shows that doctors order less tests because the EMR (electronic medical record) allows them to see what has been ordered in the past.  The other shows that  the EMR, for some reason, led to more testing.  Ah, the beauty of research.  Different variables can make some studies go one way or another.   Personally, I think the EMR has helped me save so many patients from repeated tests that it is not even a question whether the EMR is beneficial or not.  We should be over that.  It is what we do with the EMR from this point that the controversies will really begin.  For example:

  • Using the EMR to grade and pay doctors
  • Selling patient information from the EMR (see Practice Fusion)
  • Spying on doctors (by insurance companies, govt, etc)
  • Spying on patients (by insurance companies, govt, etc)

I think it was Al Jolson who said, “You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!”.   Well, we “ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]