Monday, July 31, 2017

Do docs spend more time on the computer than on you?

I wrote about the "electronic chart" 35 yrs ago--it was to be the wonder of the future...Well, we are still wondering.

First, your information is hardly universally available. One doc has to call another still to get your chart.

But the most common complaint from patients is that the doctor fools with the computer and uses time he or she could be devoting to the patient.

Some doctors lament this, and do some patients, according to a Reuters story.

One doctor said they either must turn their eyes to the computer and enter patient answers and data or do this later, which results in overtime on each patient.

Some researchers at Brown did a study that ran in the J of Innovation in Health Infomatics.

They asked doctors how the electronic chart (or EHR-Electronic Health Record) affected their patient interactions.

--Most said the EHR undermined their connection with patients. One doctor said it was like someone at a dinner table texting.

Of the 3,761 physicians, 68% responded. More than 87% of those uder EHRs. About 744 expanded on their answers.

--Most of those were older and more likely to be in primary care.

--There was a divide between docs who say people in the hosp and those who saw people in the office. The hosp doctors sai the EHR disconnected them from patients--but the office docs said the EHR degraded their relationship to patients. (Some hosp doctors said having lab results in the computer improved relations.)

Some doc said the EHR format was not as easy to use and intuitive as other computer systems, resulting in multiple clicks and disorganization.

--Also training on using the EHR is missing from medical school.

Let me think. I just got a new primary. He was standing in the hall looking at the computer and my clipboard...I don't think he used the computer in the room.

But I had some guy--my eye surgeon--who tried to double up on responding about me to the referring doctor and talking to me about my eye. He would TALK INTO the computer, using a program with medical terms to spell for him--and say, "I saw Ms Lawrence today and blah blah" to the other doctor and I was supposed to hear what he said and that was MY fill-in. All without looking at me.

And to make matters worse, the darn thing could not spell terms he used--he could say TRY AGAIN over and over until the machine came up with what he wanted. What a mishmash.

No comments: