What If Your EMR Sucked?


Every doc has to use an EMR/EHR but what if the one you bought really sucked?  Well, that issue is being tested in court according to the American Medical News.  Anesthesiologist Robert Joseph, MD, spent $40,000 but claims that the system never worked effectively and failed to meet the federal regulatory requirements promised by Allscripts.  Even worse,  Allscripts would not provide a refund nor let the practice out of its contract. Now, Dr. Joseph and three other practices are launching a first-of-its-kind, class-action lawsuit against Allscripts.   The biggest question is whether this is the tip of the iceberg prompting more lawsuits to come?  At least a quarter of docs are dissatisfied with their EMRs especially after paying a lot of money for them so you better believe this is a trend that will continue.  In fact, the attorney representing the above doctors said about 50 practices have contacted him about joining the Allscripts suit since it was filed.   Ouch.

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] 

  6 comments for “What If Your EMR Sucked?

  1. nell nestor
    May 30, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    “Logical lists of things that need to change and in what way” I think Lance-a-lot already did that. See the above posts. There’s no talking to these people. They’re like the phone company in the old Lily Tomlin routine: they don’t care, they don’t have to.

  2. Pat
    May 29, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    So why shouldn’t the government that forced these things on (previously) private citizens be liable for part of the damages?

  3. g voigtlander
    May 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Cerner is also being sued by a hosptial in Kansas. Many promised features were not included or after the fact require more money. We had a similar situation, lots of promises of features the system did not have. We were shown a system different than we were sold. Three years later the system promised is not installed. Congress shoved EHR down our throats, they should have the guts to pass an EHR lemon law. We report problems, give suggestions on how the system could be less dangerous, but are ignored.
    EHR vendors have congress and the national coordinator in their back pockets. Patients and physician be damned.
    Look forward to Dr Fitzgibbons

  4. Richard Moriarty, MD
    May 29, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Our medical center bought allscripts several years ago. They sold us a bill of goods that was supposed to work for outlying clinics as well as all the subspecialty services at a tertiary care medical center. But it didn’t cover ER records, it couldn’t do inpatient information and it didn’t cover mental health services. Their product is is lacking major components that providers need to function. We have let the company know for the last 3 years the components that we need and the components that are considered essential for a pediatric EMR, but the pleading and the requests seem to go nowhere. I was in a phone conference with perhaps the same smarmy group of people mentioned above, got the same type of gracious acceptance of ideas, but then nothing changed.

  5. Sir Lance-a-Lot
    May 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    “WHAT IF?!?”

    If you use Centricity, there’s no “What if?”

    I’ve been using this piece of garbage for over five years now, and it sucks just as much now as the mournful day when I first encountered it.

    We even had a “site visit” by some GE reps regarding our low regard for it.
    I made and presented an elaborate list of deficits / improvements, which the smarmy midwestern sales types accepted graciously, and which I know ended up in the round file as soon as I was out of the way.

    I’d love to see a real expose about these bloodsucking leeches who claim to produce EMRs.

  6. Stella Fitzgibbons MD
    May 29, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Watch “Today’s Hospitalist” for my upcoming article. The editors are so great about allowing us to say what we really think; it’s a list of ways to approach the problem of an EHR that sucks. Tears, cursewords and character assassination are not the ticket, but logical lists of things that need to change and in what way will be more effective.

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