The EHR as an obstacle to patient-doctor interaction in the exam room is another common physician complaint. Interestingly, it rarely comes up as a negative comment in our patient satisfaction survey.
I find that very hard to believe. Every day I hear patients complaining that the “last doctor put their head in the computer and never even looked up at me when I was speaking.” It is not our job nor expertise to make the lousy EHRs work.
I agree that they work very well for data mining. However, they are next to useless in the exam room. Have you not read the data stating that “for every hour a doctor spend with patients, we spend two hours documenting”? I don’t know what EHR you use, but it must be better that what the rest of us are using. Perhaps you could teach us how to “improve” our EHR.
(Online comment in response to “Don’t implode EHR use, improve it,” MedicalEconomics.com)
Kathleen Rheaume, MD
Trust needs to be built on time together
The biggest factor for the loss of trust between physicians and patients (“The eroding trust between patients and doctors,” April 10), is the frenetic pace that most doctors work at.
Perhaps older docs who have paid off their mortgages and educated their children can afford to spend 30 minute- to 60 minute-visits with patients, but younger ones just starting out cannot. They have to see 20 to 25 patients a day and it is impossible to develop a good relationship at that pace—whether they are in independent practice or employees of hospitals.
And now that telemedicine is being touted, trust will become even rarer as the “tele-docs” compete with patients’ primary care doctors.
Patients and doctors may simply become inured to the loss of trust—and as is happening, accept medicine simply as a business transaction.
Edward Volpintesta, MD
Interaction with pharma reps is necessary
It’s a shame that these days, the companies that make the medications we use daily are getting a bad rep. Without them, there would be no medications. You and I didn’t invent them, they did. It’s unfortunate that today’s medical students and residents are taught that interaction with drug representatives is biased and unethical. Later, when they are in private practice, they will not know how to interact with pharmaceutical representatives and will likely get behind on offering their patients the best treatment plan.
I welcome representatives to update me on the newest medications, new guidelines, and ways to save my patients money. They are not twisting my arm. I am not biased. I have a brain. I can prescribe what I feel is best for my patient. And no, pharma companies are not taking my focus away from my patients. EHRs are, but don’t get me started about that.
Manoj Mohan, DO
Younger docs can’t really like EHRs … right?
I just made 20 copies of “Physicians need to take back the medical profession from EHRs” (Your Voice, March 25) to send to all my colleagues over 50 years old.
Do providers who are less than 10 years into the profession see this the same way?
Joe Baum, MD