EMRs Were Designed For Billing And Not Optimized For Patient Care

Margalit Gur-Arie | HIT Consultant | June 3, 2013

EMRs were designed for billing, so let’s unleash that power, instead of trying to convert them into something they cannot be at this point in time.

Every article, discussion, blog post, comment and casual remark on the subject of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and their prominent role in health care reform is never complete without stating that EMRs were designed for billing and hence are poorly suited to contribute to patient care. Most health IT apologists are either trying to refute these allegations or are pointing out to new products and paradigms that will be designed from the ground up for something other than billing. Let’s try a different approach.

To paraphrase Coach Green, EMRs are what we thought they were, and we shouldn’t let ‘em off the hook! EMRs are designed for billing, and they should be designed for billing and as financial administrative tools, they are uniquely positioned to solve our health care problems, if properly utilized, because the health care crisis in this country is a financial crisis. It is a financial crisis at a national level and for too many people it is a financial crisis at a personal level.