Ironically, the same electronic health records (EHRs) initially designed as a tool to help physicians diagnose diseases have largely evaded diagnostic scrutiny. Talk to physicians who utilize them on a daily basis, however, and it becomes abundantly clear that today’s EHRs are ailing. They are adding hours to the physicians’ workday, siphoning attention from patient care, and sowing the seeds of demoralization across the profession of medicine. To address this ...

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I’d be willing to bet most of you have heard of, or previously used, telemedicine in some shape, form or fashion.  Stated simply, telemedicine is the process of seeking care from a medical provider using your phone or laptop.  This field is exploding, and I have no doubt popularity will continue to grow as large health systems and pharmacy giants dive in. It’s easy to appreciate the convenience and efficiency of ...

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We all have that one patient. That one patient who can always find a way to turn a good day bad, who just knows how to push your buttons in all the wrong ways. Who’s that patient for me? Let’s just call him Elton Reed. Oh, Mr. Reed … where to begin with him? When we first met, I remember being so excited and energized by him. He just had this fresh feeling ...

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Last year, a cardiologist at my institution presented the story of a patient he had cared for and correctly diagnosed with a not uncommon condition after several other physicians had failed to do so. The patient was a 72-year-old man with near syncope after exercise for several months, with no other symptoms or clues to the diagnosis. The cardiologist asked him to discuss each episode in detail, and the man ...

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July was an interesting month for artificial intelligence in medicine. A study from MIT found when human doctors order tests on patients, they factor in something that artificial intelligence is not currently aware of. The authors analyzed charts of about 60,000 ICU patients admitted to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. By looking at physician progress notes with positive or negative sentiments in patient records, they derived scores which they correlated ...

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The trouble began when I needed to open the electronic health record (EHR) system for the tenth time that day. EHRs have significantly changed the way we practice medicine. They have completely eliminated the need for storage and transport of paper charts, reduced prescription errors secondary to illegible handwritings of physicians and provided an excellent platform to maximize billing for services rendered. However, in terms of creating a smooth workflow ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. I recently saw a new patient who came to our practice following a lengthy hospitalization. He is in his 80s with a fairly complex medical history typical of many in this age range. Yet, after carefully sifting through my first introduction to this ...

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The digital divide used to be about who had internet access and who didn't, with broad implications for every aspect of life — especially health care. But digital health innovation is growing rapidly, with projections showing a $536.6 billion market by the end of 2025 compared to the $179.6 billion market at the end of 2016. So, what does that mean for the digital divide? We ...

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Technology can be both a blessing and a curse and nowhere is this more painfully evident than in the U.S. health care system. If technology is to be used to improve the patient-doctor relationship, its systems should be designed by physicians who understand these needs, not by regulators and health care conglomerates for whom business objectives are paramount. When it’s all about billing and meeting documentation checkboxes and hospital requirements, ...

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How smart do we want our electronic health record to be? Somewhere between as dumb as a piece of paper and a pen, and too smart for our own good. Many, many years ago, before we spent the majority of our office visit staring at a flatscreen LED and typing away, our charts were simple manila folders with those bendy metal bars that allowed you to insert new pages, separated into multiple ...

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