We've walked a mile in your shoes.
Focused and dynamic with private practice clinical experience
President, CEO & Chief Architect
Craig Wehrli, MD
Dr. Craig Wehrli became interested in computer science while studying neurophysiology in graduate school at the University of California, Davis, in 1972, where he received his initial education in computers and information systems.
After completing graduate school and medical school at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, he focused his career on clinical medicine. Years later, he started his practice as an Interventional Cardiologist in Olympia, Washington.
In the early 1980’s, as the president of a large multi-specialty group, Dr. Wehrli realized the medical community would benefit from better information systems to access and share patient records. At the time, he found most commercially available products to be inadequate and extremely expensive, so he began to write the code which became the foundation of DocLinks EHR. LIN Software was later incorporated in 1998.
Dr. Wehrli continues to practice medicine at a busy medical clinic and maintains an active role as president, CEO and chief software architect of DocLinks. While DocLinks has evolved dramatically over the years, the mission to improve the quality of medical care and the efficiency of medicine remains unchanged.
This is just one of the things that makes DocLinks different.
An Open Address to Physicians
Twenty years ago, there was an excitement throughout the medical community as my friends and colleagues started to realize electronic medical record systems could improve medical care. When we began DocLinks, our initial mission to use information systems to improve quality and consistency of medical care in Southwest Washington by electronically connecting to local hospitals, labs, radiology groups and other ancillary facilities, as well as creating a simple and intuitive system for providers to document clinical patient visits. In retrospect, I think we have accomplished many of our initial goals, but I know we still have more work to do.
Starting 12 years ago, the development of EHR systems took an unfortunate turn for the worse. We saw numerous government agencies, insurance companies, and large healthcare systems take part in regulating EHRs, all with vastly differing ideas as to what an EHR should accomplish. While most of these organizations were probably well-intentioned, the criteria forced EHR developers to dramatically curtail the evolutionary efforts made thus far.
As a result, most EHRs today are very good at being an administrative tool by generating reports for government agencies and generating large numbers of claims to be submitted to improve revenue across healthcare systems. They are also very good at allowing hospital administrators to monitor and control the prescribing habits and other behaviors of their employed physicians. Such an administrative focus has often been harmful to physicians and patient care.
Almost all physicians intuitively recognize this. There are now several published studies documenting the adverse effects of EHRs in the United States, including a reduction of efficiency of medical care, frequent medical errors, and damage to the fabric of medicine resulting in unprecedented physician burnout.
Even as DocLinks has continued to grow and conform to these regulations, we still focus on the same basic goals we had from the start. We believe EHR systems have the potential to improve medical care, and believe the unfortunate detour that the EHR development has taken can be corrected even now.
As we look to the future and our developmental opportunities at DocLinks, we feel artificial intelligence is the next logical step. Our goal is not to replace physicians with artificial intelligence, instead, our goal is to use advanced machine learning technologies to support healthcare providers -- improving efficiency, helping providers avoid errors of omission, and improving the safety with which physicians can take care of their patients. That is the DocLinks difference.
Craig J. Wehrli, MD