The Wal-Mart of Electronic Medical Records


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.


  1. harlembroker said,

    March 12, 2009 at 8:03 am

    I enjoyed reading this. Hilarious!

  2. A Reader said,

    March 12, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    I trust that is not your real DEA #.
    Dave Marcinko
    Atlanta, GA

  3. March 12, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    @harlembroker: Thanks! Hope you keep reading and commenting.

    @Dave: Nope, it’s not my DEA (don’t have one), my name (Brett Kinsler) nor my degree (I’m a chiropractor, not a podiatrist). It came from one of those create your own billboard sites. I truly hope it is a fake script pad otherwise someone’s going to be pretty upset. Thanks for watching out for me, though!

  4. MedBillTalk said,

    March 22, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Certainly a compelling argument; I buy my toilet paper and deodorant from Wal-Mart. Why go to someone say like IBM, known for specializing in enterprise system applications, when you could just go over to Wal-Mart, pick out a $20,000 office system (responsible for running your entire practice) and while there grab some ketchup and paper towels. –dim wits.

  5. March 24, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Keeping your patients personal information safe is a very important task, we must protect the client’s privacy and prevent anyone from ever viewing these records without the expressed permission of the client.
    When choosing a doctor to take care of your medical needs you need to make sure that the doctor that you trust your most personal information to is keeping that information safe and secure. I am not too sure about the news that Walmart will be selling Medical Billing Software, makes me a little nervous knowing that anyone with a few dollars can go into walmart and get the software. What if this software gets into the wrong hands, many people’s lives can be at stake.

  6. March 24, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    This is a very interesting post onIT and health care joining together for maximum efficiency t. I still believe that our private info should not be transferred digitally, only stored digitally and not connected to the web in anyway.
    Check this out , pretty disturbing already

  7. march kane said,

    September 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Wonderful commentary re: Wally world ! Glad we could contribute to global warming by showing china what gluttonous saps we americans have become.

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