Not so, says this primary care physician.

Dr. Rob tells us to stop blaming the current crop of programs, and simply admit that it's difficult to fundamentally change your practice in order to install a digital record system.

He says that it's similar to the decision facing those who consider buying hybrid cars, saying "you could spend more money for gas efficiency, but why?" He advises doctors ...

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Welcome listeners from ReachMD! I am pleased to be hosting the ReachMD Poll, where I will introduce a topic on-air and you can have your say and vote on important health issues.

Health care reform is imminent, and the coming year will present many challenges for the medical profession. What are the top health care issues that you will face in 2009 as a ...

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Health IT guru David Kibbe writes that simply adopting electronic records aren't enough. For one, many EMRs don't talk to one another, and this loses one of the fundamental advantages of the digitization of medical records:

Many EMR vendors have resisted the call to make their software capable of exporting and importing a standard set of summary personal health data in computable format such as the Continuity of Care ...

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Paper charts

Electronic records are a recent theme here. #1 Dinosaur give his take in a Medscape piece (registration required), calling the current crop of EMRs nor ready for widespread use:

The EMRs promise of a "paperless" office is as distant as ever. It's much easier to keep my efficient, time-tested paper charts than lay out thousands of dollars for hardware and software that aren't going to save time or ...

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A technologist notes some of the pitfalls obstructing widespread EMR adoption. One important point is that those behind the systems don't know how doctors work, or what makes their lives easier.

Until they do, and can come up with systems that improve physician's lives, resistance will continue:

A large percentage of technology professionals are about the machine. They're about the what and the how. They're not about ...

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Thanks everyone for your comments on my piece on EMRs earlier this week.

It's interesting to follow the ensuing discussion around the blogosphere, and there were a few comments that caught my eye. Like this one:

Most of these computerized record systems are not ready for prime time! They have major faults - it can often take significantly more time to complete an electronic record than to dictate the ...

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EMRs and your life

Will it make "your life is hell for the next year?"

The answer is yes. It takes about 6-12 months for electronic records to fully manifest into the patient workflow, and for doctors to feel totally comfortable with the system.

It demonstrates how poorly designed many of the programs are, evidenced by the lack any kind of physician input in the user interface.

EMR-associated legal woes

Dr. Wes points out how easy electronic records make it for lawyers to go fishing.

EMRs and EHRs

When it comes to electronic record terminology, I've assumed that electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) were interchangeable.

A kind reader pointed out that they are not. Here's the subtle difference.

Update:
Link fixed.

Medical records and Facebook

Provocative piece by hospitalist el jefe Bob Wachter. He laments how archaic most electronic records are, and I agree:

You'd think that medicine's conversion from paper to electronic records would solve many of these problems, but "“ to date "“ all it has done is create new-fangled electronic silos. In most EMRs, including the GE system we're using at UCSF, the notes are really just electronic incarnations ...

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