Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Is Wal-Mart off the Wall(-Mart)? Thoughts on EMR Cost

Wal-Mart, beloved and reviled omnivendor, plans to sell "affordable" EMR software to smaller practices that are loath to invest in "higher costing" systems. Hardware, software, installation, maintenance and product training will be available through Sam's Club for a price that, apparently, undercuts competition by 50%.

Well, I don't know whether I should clap my hands together like a jolly newborn or claw at my own skin while listening to this song.

Because, on the one hand: Nothing could be a clearer harbinger of widespread EMR use and adoption than to see Wal-Mart jump on the proverbial EMR-bandwagon. And that's nice.

But, on the other hand: What?!?!?!

If practices reluctant to adopt EMR are willing to invest in systems simply because they're cheap, we suspect these practices are laboring under some major misconceptions about the value and function of EMR.

Thus, we would like to offer our two cents regarding EMR cost versus EMR value. (Since our specialty is ophthalmology, we will speak about our experiences in that particular field -- though we believe you can apply our points more broadly to other specialties.)

When considering the switch to EMR, a practice should calculate the value of the EMR system. How?


(Cited: FierceHealth IT's article on Wal-Mart's EMR Marketing.)


  1. Dr. Tristan StrongMarch 20, 2009 at 6:22 PM

    I will never step foot in Wal-Mart. Disgraceful.

  2. Dr. Marcus BlonskyMarch 20, 2009 at 6:29 PM

    Cheap EMRs at Sam's Club? Ha! Mark my words they will break in half by February!

  3. For further commentary, here is a related article posted on Digital Doorway.

    --IO Practiceware