One of the most famous examples of the law of unintended consequences is Kudzu. Introduced to the United States in 1876, the plant was originally intended as erosion control. Currently spreading at a rate of 150,000 acres per year, the plant will overtake everything in its path when left unchecked.
"Mind the gap" is a warning for passengers to take caution while crossing the gap between the train door and the railway platform. Introduced in 1969 on the London Underground, this warning also serves physician practices well as they pursue the important goal of implementing an electronic medical record (EMR).
Meaningful Use Traps EMR and EHR Vendors
There is a vast difference between what electronic medical record (EMR) or electronic health record (EHR) vendors are delivering and developing today and what physicians and their practice leaders want. The natural market-driven improvements that occur when software begins to achieve widespread adoption have been hijacked by an outside force. HITECH has not only injected the federal government into the EMR market by bringing a checkbook and gun to the game, but has also come between the healthy process of customers giving vital feedback to software vendors that allows vendors to improve the flexibility, usability, and economic benefits of their products.
Electronic medical record (EMR) systems have not reached the utopian level everyone expects; therefore an EMR gap exists. For the time being, the billing portion is lacking. All practices have different billing workflow, carrier contracts, and processes for handling exceptions. With EMRs, entire billing processes are not taken into consideration.