For the record: I am a geek.  I love technology.  I adopted EMR when all the cool kids were using paper.  Instead of loitering in the “in” doctors lounge making eyes at the nurses, I was writing clinical content and making my care more efficient.  I was getting “meaningful use” out of my EMR even when nobody paid me to do it. 

But now who’s laughing?  While they are slaving away trying to get their “meaningful use” checks, I’ve moved on to greener pastures, laughing at their sorry butts!  It’s just like my mom promised it would be.  Thanks Mom.

Really, for the record, I am not so much a technology fan as a “systems” guy.  I like finding the right tool for the job, building systems that make it easier to do what I want, and technology is perfect for that job.  I am not so much a fan of technology, but what technology can do.  Technology is not the goal, it is the best tool to reach many of my goals.  There are two things that measure the effectiveness of a tool:

   1.  Is the tool the right one for the job?
   2.  Is the person using the tool properly?

So, when answering the question, what constitutes a “good” EMR, I have to use these criteria.

How is technology the right tool for the job?  The job I seek to do is not what EMR’s are designed for: documenting health care.  I want a tool to help me give care.  I can afford to focus on giving better care since I am no longer paid to document, which is what the health care system demands of doctors.  I spent the past 16 years using a documentation tool for care, which is definitely a mismatch.

What then would a care tool look like?  Here are the things I think are most important for good care:

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