ATLANTA One new market leads to another.

That truism was highlighted during a panel discussion on electronic medical records during this week's summit on healthcare information technology (IT), sponsored by the Technology Association of Georgia (Atlanta).

The relatively new market in question is that for EMRs, and it has produced a spin-off market for de-installation of EMRs, according to panelists.

Jeffery Daigrepont of The Coker Group (Roswell, Georgia) a company specializing in helping companies select and install healthcare IT systems said that "for every one system" his company installs, it does de-installing of systems "in equal number."

This is done for "some of the same vendors over and over and over again," he added.

The de-installations are produced by a variety of issues, ranging from selection of the wrong system to mistakes in early adoption to the natural progression to more advanced systems.

He said that other key issues are vendor promises that aren't backed by reality.

"You buy a system and there is no lab interface," he said. "The vendor tells you, 'Oh, that's coming out in the next release.'" He compared this to a BMW salesman selling you a top-of-the-line vehicle that has "no steering wheel or back tires."

Then there are the continuing succession of upgrades that seem to come in waves.

And finally he pointed to a proliferation of vendors who "claim," he said, that they provide EMR systems.

Among those vendors he said only half jokingly may be "two guys in a truck selling software out of a garage."

Don Long, Managing Editor