Have It Your Way

Dr. Armstrong's Starbucks CupHalf-Caf, Half-Sweet, Non-Fat, No-Foam… and a Latte EHR Choices for the New Year

In 1974, Burger King changed the face of the fast food world when they rolled out their first “Have It Your Way” commercial. This slogan represented a completely new way of thinking among burger chains: one that revolved around the customer’s needs. “Hold the pickle. Hold the lettuce. Special orders don’t upset us.” Basically, BK was asking their clients to tell them what they wanted—rather than feeling bad for requesting something special.

More than 40 years later, Starbucks has grown an international empire known for serving up exactly what the individual wants. So my question is, in an age when we can satisfy specialized needs for the average Joe, why would we feel that a one-size-fits-all EHR is right for specialist physicians?

The answer is simple: it’s not. HIT solutions created to satisfy the biggest economic verticals—primary and inpatient care—cannot provide optimum productivity for specialist practices. They simply aren’t designed for it. That’s why, according to periodic AMA surveys, 2014 satisfaction rates fell to a staggering low of 34%. Specialists are especially dissatisfied, using HIT solutions that were simply built for someone else—solutions built to serve the masses rather than highly focused specialist practices.

These high-volume, extremely efficient businesses don’t run better by using an EHR focused on capturing maximum data instead of the right data. Specialists are finding that rather than providing greater productivity, generic systems create friction and get in the way of their patient interactions. Outside influences such as government regulations further dictate the development of one-size-fits-no-specialist “solutions” that are based on meeting unnecessarily cumbersome and challenging MU and PQRS requirements.

The good news is, the New Year brings innovative new HIT tools tailored for specialist practices. It starts with taking a new look at what an EHR really is: the hub where all other technologies connect. Just as specialists have a narrow focus, so does a specialist’s EHR. Given the robust ecosystem of different medical technologies needed to deliver the entirety of modern medicine, it’s a challenge for any single vendor to excel at everything. Focused tools provide physicians with the right means to expertly address each protocol.

To tweak Burger King’s famous tagline, it’s time to “practice your way.” Start by asking questions in four key areas:

  1. Evaluate the physician-patient experience. Would your patients be better served by a physician-centric model that allows you to practice the art of specialty medicine your way?
  2. Compare your legacy-model EHR against newer alternatives. Is your current solution optimized for your specialty, or do you find yourself creating workarounds?
  3. Prepare for frictionless data exchange. Does your specialty care really benefit from collecting more data than you need as you work toward a more seamless data exchange and fulfillment of government requirements?
  4. Future-proof your specialty practice. Is your business positioned for future growth in a way that increases your specialists’ productivity, enhances patient care, and takes advantage of innovative technologies?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, perhaps it’s time to place a different order. Perhaps we can talk about it over a cup of coffee?

Send us your special order!

Scott Ciccarelli

Scott Ciccarelli

CEO at SRS Health
Scott Ciccarelli, Chief Executive Officer at SRS, has more than 20 years of diverse management and operations experience garnered as a senior executive at GE, where he headed two of the company’s businesses—most recently, GE Healthcare’s Services, Ambulatory and Revenue Cycle Solutions. His areas of expertise include business strategy, leadership development, operational rigor (Lean Six Sigma), and the delivery of enhanced value for customers through quality improvement and innovation.
Scott Ciccarelli

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