Do I have to choose between an EHR and patient satisfaction?

May 25, 2016

EHR use, MOC and the 2016 presidential election are the hot topics of the latest issue of Your Voice.

Do I have to choose between an EHR and patient satisfaction?

 just read the article “EHRs are ruining the physician-patient relationship" and it struck a chord with me. 

I have a busy dermatology practice in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and I am struggling with EHR issues now. My practice implemented an EHR in 2007. Our transition to EClinicalWorks from paper charts was painful, but I think that the doctors and our support staff agree that it was successful and has made certain aspects of our practice more efficient. 

When our physician network mandated a transition to another system several years ago, we opted to continue using ECW internally, and to upload our notes to the new platform. The same physician network-Partners Healthcare-is now mandating transition to EPIC.

I am resisting again, for several reasons, chief among them the experiences from physicians using the system. Doctors explain that the data entry requirements in EPIC are so extensive that workflow slows down, many need a scribe just to get it done, and using EPIC decreases their ability to speak face to face with their patients. 

I am (literally) very hands-on and face-to-face in my practice. I enjoy caring for my patients, and the relationships that I forge with them not only enable better clinical care, but also give meaning to my work and to their encounters with me as their physician.

The administrators for my PHO, and my own office manager, are concerned that not implementing EPIC (and leaving the PHO) will hurt my bottom line and endanger my referral pipeline. I am concerned that implementing this system will hurt my practice style and damage my relationships with my patients. These are not good choices. No physician should be faced with a conflict between providing excellent care and complying with onerous data entry requirements.

I hope (articles on this topic) will bring these issues to wider attention. Medical practice will be poorer as personal interactions are cut short in a headlong rush towards digital data collection.

 

Rachel Herschenfeld, MD

Wellesley, Massachusetts

 

Next: Happy family physicians speak out against MOC

 

Happy family physicians speak out against MOC

I very much appreciate Dr. Voesack’s letter (Medical Economics, April 10).

Because almost, if not all of the printed criticism against MOC has come from internal medicine, I assumed that family physicians were happy with the MOC process or just hesitant or timid or simply afraid to express their distress and unhappiness with it.

I am relieved to see that
I was wrong.

Therefore, thank you
Dr. Voesack very much, indeed!

 

Edward Volpintesta, MD

Bethel, Connecticut  

 

Next: Interesting findings from election survey

 

Interesting findings from election survey

I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing the election survey that was published in Medical Economics (April 10, 2016). 

Among responding physicians, Trump was their second-favorite candidate for President. That’s the same guy who links autism to vaccines and plans to defund Planned Parenthood.

Also, apparently 57% of responding physicians want to replace/repeal the Affordable Care Act. That’s the policy that has decreased the medically uninsured rate by 33%, slowed healthcare cost growth, and actually lowered the federal deficit.

 

Nicholas Kuhn, MD

Portland, OR