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Thursday, December 17, 2015

EHRs: Lots of Documentation But Little Communication


Most EHRs Continue to Frustrate Clinicians
In spite of assurances from vendors, complaints continue to run bitterly deep from physicians and surgeons about the major players in the EHR market.[1] The community consensus is that a lot of us could do without EHRs. As professionals with exacting standards, it's intensely disappointing to see in EHRs a tool that doesn't rise to meet those standards. Physicians maintain these precise standards because the health and lives of their patients utterly depend on it.

Consequently, any discussion of these shortfalls is generally lost on those who feel that change is inevitable and that point-and-click or drop-down menus are "good enough." Similarly, those who see EHRs primarily as a data-harvesting platform, by which reporting metrics and guideline compliance may be achieved, miss the essential humanness of physician-patient interactions in their rush for technocratic perfection.

Nothing succeeds in glazing over the eyes of nonphysicians like "talking medicine." Perhaps, instead, a recent profile of Robert Macfarlane in a BBC article[2] may be able to illustrate the symbolism of what's being lost to those who don't work with patients, and with words, the way we do.

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