EMR Benefit - Eliminate Staff - Really?

My friend John has written a very thought provoking blog - http://www.emrandhipaa.com/emr-and-hipaa/2013/04/30/ehr-benefit-eliminate-staff/

This is not a new topic. It has been beaten around since the advent of EMR. Yet, its relevance is most current.

I remember few years ago when so many vendor sites had an ROI calculator where staff reduction was an important part of the calculation as a justification for EMR.

As I consult with various EMR vendors, I don’t find a single vendor using ROI as a ‘tool’. Of course, there are two reasons – one being that Providers are not trained to think ROI. The second is that experience has shown that even in successful EMR implementations, staff reduction rarely happens exclusively because of EMR. As John rightly says, there may be other reasons for staff to leave.

What Providers should focus on is improving their workflow, reducing inefficiencies and working with staff to improve patient experience.

EMR is, and I keep on repeating this in my talks, just a tool. A tool with a lousy implementation and workflow will make the practice even more inefficient. So, use your staff (and vendor) to introspect, critically examine your practice workflow and try to make it more efficient by using the right tools.