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Learning and EMR

The government wants to shift the health industry into the digital age and has provided incentives and an electronic medical records deadline for those who adopt electronic medical records (EMR). However, as with all government benefits, this electronic medical records mandate comes with strings attached. For those who do not meet the electronic medical records deadline for implementation, the government has laid out a series of penalties.

I am always amazed when mandates are laid out like this without knowing what behaviors will result.  When the push came about many consulting companies with little to no experience in human behavior starting offering solutions to assist medical organizations everywhere to convert their paper-based systems to electronic medical records for a fee and these fees were charged for on an hourly basis according to the amount of work that need to be accomplished.  However, there was more to consider by each and every medical facility because penalties would be charged if the facility did not comply.

No EMR /EHR Implementation Has a Price

For physicians who either have not adopted certified EHR / EMR systems or cannot demonstrate “meaningful use” by the EMR deadline in 2015, Medicare reimbursements will be reduced by 1%. The deduction rate increases in subsequent years by 2% in 2016, 3% in 2017, and 4% in 2018, and up to 95% depending on future adjustments.

According to, an average AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) user is reimbursed 20% by Medicare. This means that overall; a private practice with $500,000 of annual income that fails to meet the electronic medical records mandate will lose $1000 in payments in 2015, $2000 in 2016, and so on.

Here is my take.  I do not fault the industry or the government for that matter for mandating electronic medical records in medical facilities everywhere to receive the necessary reimbursement for services rendered.  But to think you can move and entire industry from one platform to another without complications is naïve.  Those of us in the learning industry know that change is difficult at best and it will not be time or cost efficient to merely have information online that can be accessed electronically.

My suggestion for any medical person getting ready to engage in EMR is to choose a company that has adult learning in their portfolio.  Your system implementation will go smoother, your audience will be engaged and your return on investment will be realized more quickly while minimizing the level of frustration with the workplace.

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