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Posted By Dayna Riddle On July 29, 2022

Your Modern-day EHR Can’t Be DIY

modern EHR

Opposed to modern-day Electronic Health Records (EHRs), old-fashioned EHR systems have a Do It Yourself (DIY) model. Your IT team fixes software issues, your staff installs expensive servers, and your team manually downloads applications, all on their own. 

Tom Powers, previous Director of Business Development at Patagonia Health, said:

“Over twenty years ago, [EHR] software was 100% proprietary and was mainly used for billing and reporting systems. They ran software on expensive RISC based UNIX systems and the servers alone, to run the software, were well over $50,000. Old legacy software took large IT departments to run, and if your organization did not have a highly skilled IT department, you most likely struggled on a daily basis with your six figure investment.”

In addition, the implementation model was also a DIY for your team– vendors would come in and train your IT department on how to set up hundreds of maintenance tables in the software. This could take up several years of your team’s bandwidth. DIY implementations proved to be frustrating for all staff. This included clinicians needing specific templates for clinical assessments or patient questionnaires, program managers needing specific reporting templates updated to current regulations for funding such as for family planning, and nursing staff needing patient intake forms and patient authorizations specific to their clinic’s needs.

Other issues health organizations have due to DIY EHRs: 

  • Lack of data flow form one chart to another
  • Duplicate data entry, resulting in incorrect information
  • Several thousand dollar investments into hardware
  • Information spread over several reports, instead of all in one

Rolling out these old EHRs can take years, and you have to do it all yourself.

The House is Built For You

A modern-day EHR system can be compared to contractors expecting to build your house for you.  DIY EHRs are like a builder delivering all of the wood, nails, tools, plumbing, and shingles, and then expecting you to build the home yourself. This analogy is basically how old-fashioned Electronic Health Record (EHR) software was delivered. There are still vendors today who expect you to build your own EHR.

Your EHR solution doesn’t have to be this way.

Modern-day Healthcare Through Your EHR

Cloud-based technologies with apps to support them changed the future of healthcare. Similar to your smartphone hosting several different apps, your EHR can provide several solutions within the cloud. This prevents expensive IT servers to manage. All this new system requires is any server, going to a website, downloading the software, and entering a few parameters. 

The expectation for EHRs is that vendors handle the development, and the software is ready to use right out of the box. No more long meetings to develop your own templates– these are already made, just for you. 


In an always-connected, 24/7 world, your health organization should expect Electronic Health Record software that is easy to learn, easy to use, and ready when you need it. No more DIY EHRs!

Article Updated: August 1, 2022

Original author credit: Tom Power, March 2, 2017

About Dayna Riddle

Dayna is a marketing associate at Patagonia Health, an Electronic Health Records (EHR) software company serving Public and Behavioral Health departments across the United States. She creates content, manages social media, and assists in marketing strategies, while supporting her efforts with a passion for health.