A chasm between them

In his book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell defined five different classes of people based on their receptivity to adopting new technology. From most to least receptive, he called the groups Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards.

One of the reasons why physicians have not universally welcomed electronic medical records with open arms is that they do not comprise a homogeneous group that is willing and able to accept new technology with uniform levels of comfort and skill. The Innovators and Early Adopters have pretty well computerized their medical records. Unfortunately, as Gladwell observed,

“…the attitude of the Early Adopters and the attitude of the Early Majority are fundamentally incompatible. Innovations don’t just slide effortlessly from one group to the next. There is a chasm between them. All kinds of high-tech products fail, never making it beyond the Early Adopters, because the companies that make them can’t find a way to transform an idea that makes perfect sense to an Early Adopter into one that makes perfect sense to a member of the Early Majority.”

I wonder if the companies making EMRs will be ready for the tech support problems that will arise from progressively less tech-savvy medical practices implementing electronic records under pressure from both the government and private insurance companies?


One Response to “A chasm between them”

  1. […] enough, safe enough, and cheap enough for it to be nationally implemented.  We are still in the “early adopter” phase of the technology.  Or to use an Internet metaphor, we are at the BBS stage, but not the World […]

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