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May 1, 2010 News No Comments

EMR Mythbusters

Last autumn, at the annual meeting the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I had the tremendous good fortune of giving a talk in tandem with Dr. Andy Spooner, CMIO of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that being asked to give a talk was a blessed event, but this one broke the mold. Perhaps it was the topic, perhaps it was the meeting, but most likely it was the partner, Dr. Spooner. (I like to think maybe it was a mutual camaraderie and synergism, but I’m pretty sure Andy deserves most of the credit!)

We had been asked to sit on a panel discussing “Technology in Pediatric Practice.” This morphed from the panel to just he and I discussing some of our favorite rumors, half-truths, and misconceptions about EMR adoption and use. We borrowed/adapted the title from one of my favorite geek TV shows. (Props to Jamie, Adam, and all the gang at M5).

There was a pretty good sized crowd and the talk seemed well received. Audience participation was enthusiastic, and afterwards, folks asked us how many times we’d done this before, if our “routine” was fully scripted, or if we might be taking this on the road. (“First time”, “complete ad lib”, and “our agents are taking a meeting on it”, respectively.)

I think what made it so enjoyable for me was the lack of formality and the easy give-and-take rapport between Andy and me. Plus, it was an interesting tête-à-tête: his CMIO, larger center experience and my small practice, trench gruntness. Perhaps most significantly, Andy’s just a very fun person despite his brilliance and a curriculum vita that’s longer than most PhD theses.

Anyway, I bring this up here because we were asked to record our EMR Mythbusters talk for Nuesoft’s Monthly Podcast Series and it was just recently posted. As these hallowed pages are for the “Practice” side of the infamous HIStalk, maybe some of the readers might find our banter worth noting because, while I realize HIStalk Practice readers know all this stuff, there are loads of providers who are still considering EMR adoption and who are trying to fathom our brave new HIT world, especially with the nitrous boost currently being injected by HITECH. Maybe you know a few of them who might enjoy a sort of fun look at some of the HIT issues they’re trying to fathom.

Warning: It is a retake of the full meeting version, around 53 minutes. You may want to bring some popcorn!

From the trenches…

“The first myth of management is that it exists. The second myth of management is that success equals skill.” – Robert Heller

Addenda: 1) Neither Andy nor I have any financial relationship with Nuesoft. 2) There’s a bit of a volume level change several minutes in.

Dr. Gregg Alexander, a grunt in the trenches pediatrician, directs the “Pediatric Office of the Future” exhibit for the American Academy of Pediatrics and is a member of the Professional Advisory Council for ModernMedicine.com. More of his blather…er, writings…can be found at his blog, practice web site or directly from doc@madisonpediatric.com.

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