Medical Tuesday Blog
Practice Fusion EMR
Dr. Rosen: Our favorite Electronic Medical Record (EMR) which has been available without cost for more than five years has gone the way of most EMRs—changing to a purchase plan.
Dr. Edwards: It was a very valuable entry into the EMR world which was essentially mandated by the Feds through Medicare.
Dr. Milton: I also have used the Practice Fusion EMR which was free and easy to use. I had learned the EPIC system of Electronic Health Record (EHR) which is secondarily an EMR for physicians plus the extended applications for hospital use which includes laboratory, x-ray, CT, MRI, consults, and procedure ordering as well as receiving the reports of all of these. I used this system in my hospital practice.
Dr. Rosen: My personal physician purchased an EMR serveral years ago and is still paying $8000 a year for the remaining 8 years. Cost analysis has shown that such purchases were not cost effective. Hence, I am very disappointed that Practice Fusion has gone the same way. I didn’t mind all the ads that were included to make it free. They were mostly pharmaceuticals and provided a quick review of many.
Dr. Ruth: I think it was sold and the new owners felt they could improve their rewards by adding another stream of revenue.
Dr. Milton: The Practice Fusion EMR was continuing the upgrading into a full EHR and it was as easy to use as the costly EPIC systems used by Kaiser Permanente and a number of hospitals at a cost of $Billions.
Dr. Michelle: When Practice Fusion was sold and became a purchased program, we were also disheartened. However, as it progressed from a physician oriented Electronic Medical Record, (EMR) to a total Electronic Health Records (EHR) which then includes all hospital departments, our office didn’t progress to the entire Health Record. We still wrote or stamped our own prescriptions rather than use the long laborious EHR to write them. Ditto for lab and x-ray requisitions. This is because of the progressive health industry becoming non-physician oriented.
Dr. Yancy: I also used practice fusion just for the history, physical exam and surgical reports which can now also be dictated right into the Dragon Voice recognition program of Practice Fusion. So, I haven’t added any time to my work. And in my office, I have eliminated a part-time transcriber’s salary.
Dr. Rosen: So, it appears that for a physician’s medical record, an EMR is still useful. For physician to become the hospital employed coordinator of the entire chart—that is adding a huge time element on our shoulders which doesn’t include a time-reimbursable-payment code—which is like adding involuntary servitude without pay. This has been our challenge since 1965 when the era of government medicine was forced upon us. And our own professional organizations hoodwinked the profession into accepting it for “improving the quality of care” when “quality” has been our middle or maiden names since time immemorial.
Dr. Milton: Since all of our hospital have an EHR, I think all of us need to explore just importing the hospital EHR which I understand may even be complementary into our office program. It this is the case, we can all abandoned the Practice Fusion EMR which we can continue on the basis of our initial contract to be permanently accessible for our prior patients and transfer them into the office records based on the hospital programs as the need arises.
Dr. Rosen: That may even give Practice Fusion pause to reflect on the unexpected consequences of the change in their business program. They may be losing many loyal and satisfied customers. This could be their death knell.
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