EMRs are overrated and erodes the doctor patient relationship

“In our clinic, the computer monitors are placed so that the doctor can watch the screen or the patient, but not both. Frankly, it’s not much of a contest. The monitors are mesmerizing, with their colors and windows, boxes and beeps, menus of pills ripe for the prescribing. Walk down the row of offices and you see the patients looking at their doctors, and the doctors looking at their screens.

Last week, when the system crashed, we looked at our patients instead.”

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  • Doctor Disgruntled

    The monitors actually know something about what’s wrong with the patient. How often does the patient actually know anything? I think as many as 10-15% of the women I see have no idea why they are seeing me:

    “So, what brings you to see me today?

    (blank look) “…they made an appointment for me…?”

  • Anonymous

    The doctor who looks at the monitor to the exclusion of the patient is the same for whom a jillion bedside manners/empathy seminars during medical school are of no use. The technology is no more a tool than the chart. I can take notes on a laptop while maintaining eye contact BETTER than I can on a paper chart.

    I will admit that design of rooms must be taken into account however. Only a moron would place a computer desk against a wall in an exam rm.

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