Doctors are not technologists

102011code2In the past, when we bought new software, you would receive thick instruction books included with your purchase.  There was just one problem, users rarely read the manuals and only referred to them when they had questions.  So why would any company think that over 200 pages in update notes would be read by physicians and office staff who are time stressed?

I was reviewing some research I led earlier this year with physicians to explore opportunities around EHR’s and there is a lot of push back around EHR software solutions that require a lot of time to learn and master.  Key complaints..

1ne: The software they use is not intuitive and often takes a lot of time to learn and master.

2wo: Updates to the software often lead to confusion and costly hours to retrain staff.

3hree: They don’t like having software “in the cloud” as they feel it “locks them into one provider”.

4our: Interoperability is far from being perfected and is an area most vendors seem to ignore.


What do doctors really want when it comes to EHR software?

-Software that is easy to use and has an interface “like I think”.

-If you’re going to create a patient portal, at least help me get my patients to use that portal.

-I don’t need scheduling software, what I currently use is fine.

-Software should be customized for my practice, including the size of my practice.

-Don’t execute major updates to the software, evolution is better than revolution.

-Software that I can afford.

-Don’t have national meetings with hundreds of colleagues in attendance. That is a waste of time as mass education on learning software is over.

It would seem that the industry still has a long way to go.  Some providers are growing so fast that they are loosing sight that physicians are customers rather than sales targets.