Medical scribes are a solution to click overload 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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Why does treating heart attacks cost so much money? An article from the JAMA has been gnawing at my consciousness for the last couple of weeks. Dr. Prashant Kaul and colleagues out of the University of North Carolina reviewed records from hospitals in the state of California from 2008 through 2011, looking for patients who had been hospitalized with heart attacks. Specifically, they were looking for patients with ST elevation ...

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3 ways to make health IT work better for nurses 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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EMRs remove the soul of the medical record. So, whats next? 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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I understand that for some, digital health still might be a bitter pill, but the promise of techno-medical mumbo jumbo is bold and transformative. That being said, in my opinion, the “secret sauce” to digital health might be a bit outside the conventional “drug development” methodology -- both in logistics and psychology. Therefore, I thought it would be fun to take a page out of IBM’s Watson playbook. IBM recently used “cognitive ...

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The policy known as meaningful use was designed to ensure that clinicians and hospitals actually used the computers they bought with the help of government subsidies. In the last few months, though, it has become clear that the policy is failing. Moreover, the federal office that administers it is losing leaders faster than American Idol is losing viewers. Because I believe that meaningful use is now doing more harm than good, I ...

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Avoid these 4 mistakes when using a computer in the exam room With the growing usage of EHRs, more and more doctors are bringing their computers and tablets with them into the exam room. But just because you’re using a computer in the exam room, it doesn’t mean that you’re using it properly. Computers can be one of the most beneficial tools you use in an exam room, or they can lead to ...

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I’ve previously written about my experience with poorly designed electronic health records and how it negatively impacts provider happiness and patient safety.  Apparently, I’m not alone in my experiences and my sentiments about this subject. First, we have a study that validates the concern that EHRs waste time for doctors.  Imagine the impact for primary care physicians who are already crammed for time, seeing patients in short time intervals just to keep ...

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According to the American Medical Association, there were approximately 685,000 physicians in patient care, post-residency, not employed by the federal government, in 2012. 60 percent of these physicians practiced in independent private practice, and 84 percent were working in small to medium size practices. Assuming that the trend to employment of doctors by health systems continued unabated to this day, over half of practicing physicians are still in private ...

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