What Gets Clicked 4,000 Times a Day?
It’s the mouse hooked to an Emergency Room physician’s computer. In a 10-hour shift, an ER doc spends 43% of his/her time entering information into the hospital’s electronic medical records system, and only half that actually treating the patient.
Kevin Pho, MD, writing in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine reports that as a primary care physician he will make over 50 mouse clicks documenting a simple office visit and more than 10 clicks to refill a single prescription. He does this over 100 times a day. What and who is responsible for all of this?
In all modern medicine trends there is a push to convert to electronic medical records – faster communication, easier to share with other providers, less medical mistakes (i.e. easier to read). All well and good. However, we’re beginning to see the downside as doctors are attempting to grasp and operate EMR while staying engaged with the patient sitting in front of them. Both patients and doctors report great frustration in attempting to execute the basic office visit while the doctor must type the information into the patient’s record.
To attempt to deal with this, EMR vendors have developed programs whereby records are generated primarily through clicking drop-down boxes. Less typing, more clicking. Seems to make sense except we are finding all records look alike. Doctors generate computer records in which each patient looks alike, all sinus infections are the same, all earaches are alike. This defeats the purpose of creating an accurate record for an individual patient and instead, makes all charts with similar diagnoses suspiciously similar.
So be on guard. Read new medical records closely. Know that they may have been generated by a canned program and dozens of clicks. Understanding the medical record is crucial in properly managing the case. We can help you with that.
Call us. We can do better.