Although the government has issued many financial incentives toward adoption of EHRs (as long as meaningful use can be demonstrated), it has been a slow progress with a great many in the medical community dragging their feet in adoption of the process (or total resistance).

There are many obstacles toward conversion to electronic records:

  • lack of reimbursement (for time and effort)
  • poor (if any) return on investment
  • lack of reimbursement for equipment (hardware and software) purchased
  • cost
  • additional work
  • lack of IT proficiency
  • liability issues
  • security issues
  • loss of control for patient care

However, we are witnessing more and more of the public seeking healthcare information on the internet.  Currently 81% of the American population has been found to seek medical answers on the web.  Clearly, there is a demand for patient portals and the potential advantage to patients is obvious.

The(CMS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are now focusing on patient interaction and many private health insurance companies are following suit.

According to Seth Emont, Ph.D., M.S. who researches the quality of patient care, and is a principal of White Mountain Research Associates, L.L.C., there is gathering interest in ” patient-centered care nationwide which  is leading some providers to embrace the idea of “patient-centered health information technology.”   Promising models such as the “patient- centered medical home” include health information technology and analytic tools.

Several new niches have sprung up for public health care such as telemedicine.  Clearly the public is expressing an interest and demand along with creativity will rise to the challenge.