The EHR Problem: Provider and Vendor Priorities Collide

See on Scoop.ithealthcare technology

The health information technology industry works with a different sense of time and urgency than the clients that it serves. In the world of medicine, where a wrong test result or incorrect data can mean the difference between a treatment that restores health and one that destroys it, speed and accuracy are the twin supports from which good medicine hangs.


I.T. managers and developers are concerned about different issues. They are concerned about satisfactory operation of a software package or the uptime in a system. Those concerns are almost always held in isolation from the particulars of any one person’s medical needs. It is only the macro behavior of the application that matters. So, when issues or bugs are encountered, they are accumulated to be dealt with in batch fashion. Six months to a year may pass before a known problem is addressed and released, often requiring that more money to be paid to receive the fix.


This is especially true when the number of customers that a software company has is large because in addition to the correctness of the software, there are also the practical concerns of rolling out the upgrade to a large user base. Just as you may have had a problem when installing an update to your personal computer, amplify that by several orders of magnitude, and you have what software companies dread when offering an upgrade or a fix to existing user-base installations.

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