Thursday, April 17, 2008

Harvard doctors speak out about downsides of electronic medical records

All too often they can be a substitute for thought, among other problems. White Coat Notes cited the NEJM article by Dr. Pamela Hartzband and Dr. Jerome Groopman, noting:

…computers make it too easy for doctors to lose focus on the patients before them. Residents and doctors can cut and paste one another's notes into the record, sacrificing the benefit of fresh eyes looking at a patient and distilling what is most relevant. Lab test results can flood the record with no selectivity on what matters for the current problem.

Computer template generated notes I’ve seen are often cluttered with boiler plate verbiage making it difficult to convey the patient’s story in meaningful form and nearly impossible to know what the doctor was thinking.

Via Kevin M.D.

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