Interesting piece of news here: U.S. Coast Guard pulls out of Epic EHR contract, forcing return to paper records

In my talks, I sometimes ask the audience to give the reasons why EHR failures are pretty common. Many would cite technology challenges, workflow problems, politics, etc.

But, for me, one of the biggest “contributors” of Health IT failures is because “paper is always an option”.

In the healthcare setting, paper is always a “reliable” back up. Reliable is all in quotes because–paper being unreliable is one of the main reasons we’re implementing an EHR.

When implementing an EHR, nobody ever “burns that paper bridge”. It’s always nice to have that Plan B. But what if you don’t have that option? What if you have no choice but to always move forward with computerization?

Sometimes it’s good exercise to scare ourselves into a corner once in a while.