The Benefits of EHRs: Marketing Speak or Reality?

A special day here today; time to reflect on the direction of one’s life and its path. The past, its present and the future. It’s a hard process sometimes to think about where one has come from and, and most difficulty, where one is going; where one wants to go.

My time off the grid today was spent with those that matter most, because I could. Left it all behind and felt like I went back in time before technology placed me in the always on mentality. It felt nice taking the time to focus on other priorities and spending time disconnected.

Have to admit, the time away did make me think about life back on the ranch, though. Specifically, the promises told of health IT and how they make the lives of those who use the systems in their professional lives better, easier and efficient.

It might be a bit cliché by now, but during my time serving the health IT industry and its professional partners, I’ve told and been told countless times how systems like EHRs allow physicians to practice more effectively in a shorter amount of time and essentially lock up shop within minutes after the final patient has left.

In fact, I’ve seen testimonials by clients of one vendor say nearly this exact thing, and I understand from personal experience that this can be an actualized reality if a proper plan is put in place and a procedure is established for getting there.

And, just recently, in this forum, I featured Dr. David DeShan who is now able to follow his dream of heading up a medical mission in Russia while also maintaining his partnership at a practice in Texas, all because of his EHR.

So, despite all of the marketing speak and the canned comments, the question is: Do these healthcare technologies actually allow providers a better quality of life?

Are you able to hit the road a lot sooner now that you have a system in place or are you just a workaholic and despite the tools you have you’ll always find a way to work more than you should?

Does health IT make your lives easier? Are you able to spend more time with loved ones or more time on the links? Are you more flexible and able to live a richer more fulfilling life because of your technology or is it all wishful thinking as far of you are concerned?

Finally, have you been able to create more balance between work and personal life since you implemented your system and implemented equipment like tablet PCs or has access to work information while on the run been that more pressure on you to perform.

My situation is different, obviously. I simply turn off my computer and ignore my phone. I’m not in the business of saving lives; I just help people and companies tell their stories.

I’d love to know, once and for all, does it really matter or are these “potential” benefits just a bunch of marketing speak?

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