Posted By Fuller Harvey On April 17, 2018

Avoiding Analysis Paralysis When Selecting an EHR

too many choices

Think back to the grocery shopping experience of our childhood. The cereals were a “section” – not an entire aisle.  We chose between Cheerios[i] and Wheaties[ii]. Or. if Mom was in a splurge mood and it was our lucky day, Captain Crunch[iii] or (you guessed it) Lucky Charms[iv].

But can you guess how many kinds of Cheerios there are now?

Fasten your seat belt:  EIGHTEEN!

I’m all for the free market, but that is too many choices of Cheerios. It makes my head spin.

Many public health and behavioral healthcare agencies who survey the vendor choice “aisle” in the electronic health record (EHR) supermarket find their heads spinning, too. How can one not, when lists like “Top 100 EHR Companies” actually exist?

Wikipedia defines this phenomenon as “Overchoice” (first introduced by Alvin Toffler in the 1970 book Future Shock). Overchoice is “a cognitive process in which people have a difficult time making a decision when faces with many options.”

Psychologists are discovering that our demand as a society for our freedom of choice is having detrimental effects on our wellbeing.  From anxiety to depression, from stress to total paralysis  – yes “analysis paralysis” – having too many options seems to create more complications than solutions.

Rachel Gillett, the careers editor at Business Insider, discusses the phenomenon and states:

“When there are lots of alternatives to consider, it’s easy to imagine the attractive features of the alternatives you reject.”

As the electronic health record market expands with more vendors dotting the landscape, an initial survey of EHR-land can leave one’s head spinning when trying to narrow down to two or three platforms for consideration.  To prevent analysis paralysis from over-choice, learn more about simplifying the EHR selection process by checking out a few of these resources (Don’t worry, I won’t give you too many choices!)

For simplifying the EHR selection process, start HERE.

Or, for a presentation on Best Practices of EHR selection and implementation, go HERE for a step-by-step EHR selection guide created by the folks at Cleveland County (NC).


Life can be simple again.  Don’t let the choices get you down!
[i] Cheerios is a registered trademark of the General Mills Corporation.
[ii] Wheaties is a registered trade mark of the General Mills Corporation.
[iii] Captain Crunch is a registered trademark of The Quaker Oats Company.
[iv] Lucky Charms is a registered trade mark of the General Mills Corporation.

About Fuller Harvey

Fuller is a creative consultant who is bringing her passion for connective, encouraging, and practical communication to Patagonia Health. She considers her greatest strength to be creating an adhesive environment where individuals are valued, supported and celebrated for the contributions they bring to the “team table” and where all communication -both within and without the company – has positive purpose and impact.