Electronic Medical Records Influence Provider/Patient Interaction

Do you sometimes get the feeling that something has come between you and your provider? You’re right, as a computer now consumes a significant amount of his or her attention as data are entered into your electronic medical record (EMR).

A little background may shed some light on the advent of the widespread system that now pervades healthcare. EMRs emerged as an outgrowth of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009. Under the guise of improving healthcare, the government implemented a system utilizing incentives and penalties to incorporate information technology into healthcare. With the goal of government-controlled healthcare, the plan required physicians to adopt the use of EMRs or face stiff financial penalties.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 86.9% of office-based physicians have adopted an EMR system. The goals underlying the use of the EMR include improved patient safety, heightened efficiency, better communication and greater facility in sharing patient information. However, adoption of EMRs has created a significant financial impact, manifest in adoption and implementation costs, financial losses related to reduced productivity, continuing maintenance costs, conversion from paper to electronic systems and training of office staff.

In light of the large volume of health information exchanged electronically, patients have experienced increasing concerns around the privacy of their medical records. Coupled with the perceived reduction in providers’ “face time” during office visits, patients often find the providers’ computers to be an intrusion rather than offering a benefit in the management of healthcare issues.

Physicians, too, find EMRs provide both advantages and disadvantages. A 2014 physician survey conducted by the American Medical Association and AmericanEHR Partners found that only 34% of respondents expressed satisfaction with their systems. There’s no doubt there’s a need for improved operability and efficiency.

Regardless of skepticism or concerns on either the provider or patient side, electronic medical records are here to stay.

Author
Ithaca Primary Care

You Might Also Enjoy...

Can Oral Health Affect Cardiovascular Disease Risk?

Researchers have identified a link between heart disease and periodontal disease, which involves gum infection, gum inflammation and tooth damage. Studies have noted an association between poor dental hygiene and coronary heart disease.

Common Symptoms May Point to Sjogren’s Syndrome

Sjogren’s syndrome, a disorder of the immune system characterized most commonly by dry eyes and dry mouth, occurs when white blood cells attack saliva glands, tear glands, and other tissues, leading to a sig

Know the Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Insufficient amounts of thyroid hormone in the bloodstream cause metabolism disorders in the body. The condition is known as hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid disease.

Varicose Veins

A common condition, varicose veins appear as swollen, twisted veins that are visible just under the skin’s surface. Although they usual occur in the legs, they also can form in other parts of the body.