Have a Story to Tell? Had a medical error?

This blog is about patient safety, medical malpractice, staying healthy, and preventing future errors. Help & empower someone else, Teach a lesson, Bear witness, Build our community - Email us or call 781-444-5525.

Frustrated with a health problem?

Need an ally in your health crisis? Call 781-444-5525, or learn more.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Too busy to take in what I have to tell her: Physicians' work-flow with an electronic medical record

Joyce Adams' wry observations:
A doctor I see is one of the 4% of doctors who make full use of electronic records to assist their practices. It seems obvious to me that having lab results, previous clinical observations and recommendations at her fingertips enhances the care she provides.

On the other hand, visits to this doctor involve minutes spent while she locates my health records on the computer, and minutes spent as she enters new data, all the while with her gaze and attention fixed on the computer rather than on me. The tap-tap of her fingers indicates that she is too busy to be taking in whatever I have to tell her, and that the electronic task has been elevated over the old-fashioned hands-on approach to clinical care.

Once records are enshrined in my doctor's computer, they are available for her use and the use of other doctors in her clinic. However, they fail to travel beyond the clinic to the office of my primary care doctor because apparently the task of faxing them over is too onerous in this high-tech age.

Getting electronic records to my primary care doctor, who oversees all aspects of my health, requires a more basic effort: a hand-carry by the patient.

So much, and so little, progress!

Advice: Choose a physician who has both an electronic medical record and high patient satisfaction ratings.

Read another story on the work-flow of physicians with an electronic medical record.

Thanks to Joyce Adams for her letter to the editor, published in today's NY Times.

No comments: