Thanks to my friend and faithful blog reader Rick for having his finger on the pulse of all that is truly important in the world of evidence based medicine. Rick pointed out the New York Times reporting Wal-Mart is throwing it’s big, floppy hat into the health-IT arena with plans to sell systems for handling electronic healthcare records to small medical practices.
Really? Wal-Mart? EHR? Which aisle? Out of my way. I gotta see this. Is that a SOAP note generator over there next to the soap? HIPAA compliance statements over by the Hippity Hops? Patient demographics near domestics?
Who decided this was a good idea?
Nevermind that Wal-Mart is, like, the last place physicians go to purchase medical products, business items or software. It’s not like physicians are there all the time anyhow picking up everything the well-stocked healthcare office requires so you might as well upsell them a tad bit. Nevermind that Wal-Mart has no experience in electronic medical software or any software for that matter. There is one even more important point…
This is freaking Wal-Mart! Hardly known for high quality and durability, this is the place you go to buy cheap crap that will more than likely not outlast the walk from the store to your car and even more likely is made out of cheapass plastic from some far Asian grindshop built with the blood, sweat and tears of some poor, practically enslaved child. Wal-Mart is, well, the Wal-Mart of companies.
Given the low prices and low standards, then it must be a bargain for this software, right? Wal-Mart plans to make the electronic medical records available for around $25,000 for the first physician in a practice and about $10,000 for each additional doctor. Continuing maintenance and support will run another $4,000 to $6,500 a year. Yeah, that sounds about right for my usual checkout tab. Just pop that onto my Visa, wouldja? We’ll have to limit it to that amount for now. Got my eye on a new kidney over at Target’s organ transplant department.