Saturday, August 18, 2012
Yet, there are times in medicine when we fail to adhere to such basic principles. One only has to look as far as the doctor's exam table. Now a days, perched upon it, is a computer screen in place of a paper chart. Is there proof that electronic medical records are better? We know that they are more expensive.
Now don't get me wrong, I've been using EMR's since 2003. I learned five different systems over the years, and use Epic, Misys-Allscripts, and Cerner currently. I adapted, and no longer find them an impediment to care. But the truth is, I would go back to pen and paper in a heart beat. I can't tell you how many times I've seen user generated errors cause harm to patients. Recently, I witnessed the quality of care spiral in a local hospital as physicians and nurses scurried to negotiate a new system.
When a patient is transferred to the nursing home from a hospital with an EMR, it takes untold hours to traverse the useless minutia and mine the important data.
But all this would be worthwhile if there was one iota of proof that the large expenditures improve quality, cut costs, or increase patient satisfaction. Please, anyone, show me the data! Instead, we have a series of suppositions made by administrators, politicians, and starry eyed physicians who no longer get their hands dirty with actual clinical care.
What we have is dogma.
And the problem with dogma is that it doesn't bend to science. We run, like herded cattle, oblivious to the cliff in front of us.
Of course, reality won't be so dramatic. Maybe we creep towards a mild and continuous decline. Either way, the results will generally be the same.
Prepare for the abyss.
Posted by Jordan Grumet at 3:36 PM