Paying doctors by the hour will increase the adoption of electronic medical records

Less than 20 percent of doctors currently use electronic medical records.

One of the more cited reasons is that, in a fee-for-service payment system, doctors often lose money since the number of patients they see decreases during the long implementation phase.

Paying doctors by the hour will solve that problem. Consider this physician, who said “he had to give up his solo practice after he had invested $38,000 in software for systems that kept crashing and thwarting his attempts to send out electronic bills.”

Having to play his own IT consultant fixing the system often drew his time away from patients, and he couldn’t keep his practice financially solvent.

After moving to a new job that pays by the hour, he doesn’t worry if the software crashes.

If doctors were relieved of the financial pressure of seeing more patients, and paid on an hourly wage, I suspect that many more would be willing to take the time to go digital.