Doctors and hospitals often exist in a universe parallel to the consumers, patients, and caregivers they serve, a prominent chief medical information officer told me last week. In one world, clinicians and health care providers continue to implement the electronic health records systems they’ve adopted over the past several years, respond to financial incentives for meaningful use, and re-engineer workflows to manage the business of health care under constrained reimbursement. In ...

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A lot has been written about how awful electronic health record (EHR) systems are. They are overwrought, overengineered, dreadfully dull baroque systems with awkward user interfaces that look like they were designed in the early 1990s. They make it too easy to cut and paste data to meet billing level requirements, documenting patient care that never happened and creating multipage mega-notes, full of words signifying exactly nothing. They have multitudes of ...

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I once wrote about the communication difficulties caused by electronic medical records systems. The response on Twitter ranged from sentiments including everything from “right on, sister” to “greedy doctors are only complaining about EMRs because of their price tag.” The disconnect between policy wonk’s (and EMR vendor’s) belief in the transformative power of EMRs and exasperated clinician users of these products is jaw-dropping. Physicians are often labeled as ...

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My lifetime has spanned many of the important developments in the Age of Computers. Back in 1969 when I entered college, I was a frequent visitor to the Kiewit Computing Center, the lair of a GE-635 computer that filled several rooms. Students had access to the computer via noisy teletypes and a multiuser operating system known as Dartmouth Time Sharing. We wrote simple programs in BASIC, a language created by two of ...

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It took me until 2010 to buy an iPhone and in just a few years, I’ve become so dependent on it, without fail, I will always make a U-turn to make sure it’s with me -- my smartphone is essentially a new limb for me. I know I’m not alone. Most did not predict the rocket speed adoption and transformative power of modern smartphones when the iPhone launched in 2007. But, in ...

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shutterstock_196442450 A common complaint regarding the use of electronic medical records (EMRs) is that physicians spend the majority of their time with a patient “tinkering” on a computer rather than interacting with the patient. Use of EMRs is now mandatory in the U.S., creating many advantages: Patient information can be more easily shared in a secure environment, there are no lost files or ...

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My dad was a wonderful guy who could fill the room with his personality.  He grew up during the Great Depression and was a World War II veteran.  I was thinking of him recently while considering how much health care delivery has changed in the last 100 years. When asked about his health, my dad would always say, “I feel great.  I don’t have any aches or pains.”  This is telling. ...

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shutterstock_169875926 The job of a nurse has changed dramatically over the last couple of decades. I’ve witnessed these changes at close quarters and heard feedback from nurses in several different hospitals. The biggest change undoubtedly is the interaction with information technology and the move away from paper charting. The theory behind this push, which is part of the federal government’s meaningful use policy, ...

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shutterstock_130682090 By the time the next decade rolls in there will be no paper charts. There will probably still be paper floating around in various capacities, but there will be no one charting on paper. The term “charting” itself may become obsolete, like yonder or popinjay. The term EHR, which is what replaces the paper chart, won’t last either because it doesn’t ...

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In recent months, Silicon Valley has surpassed Hollywood as America’s home for high-profile split ups. Last month, computer security giant Symantec announced its intentions to split in two. And three days before that, HP announced plans to divide up into parts. In September, eBay announced its intention to spin off PayPal. With enough twists and turns to fill a screenplay, the tech industry’s recent split-up saga raises a couple of ...

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