A primary care physician describes the electronic health records system workflow that works for his practice.
The AMA's time-motion study released last week quantified a major complaint about EHRs, concluding that for every hour physicians spend with patients, they spend another two hours interacting with their electronic medical records systems.
In an editorial accompanying the study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Susan Hingle, MD, an associate professor of internal medicine at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, articulated an equally valid, arguably more productive conclusion:
"Now is the time to go beyond complaining about EHRs and other practice hassles and to make needed changes to the healthcare system that will redirect our focus from the computer screen to our patients and help us rediscover the joy of medicine," Hingle wrote.
For insights into how physicians might improve their relationships with EHRs (and therefore, patients), I spoke with Salvatore S. Volpe, MD, a New York-based solo primary care physician. In addition to using an EHR in his practice for the past eight years, Volpe belongs to the board of directors of the New York eHealth Collaborative and serves as chair of the health information technology committee for his state medical society.
Debra Shute is the Senior Physicians Editor for HealthLeaders Media.