AMA Releases Best Practices for Using EHRs Around Patients

The American Medical Association has released a policy report detailing best practices for physician use of electronic health records in front of patients.

The report notes that while EHRs have many advantages over traditional paper records, using a computer during patient interactions can shift physicians' attention away from patients, encourage a focus on clinical over psychological issues and disrupt or slow physicians' workflow.

The most important factors to a successful interaction are a physician's communication skills and their comfort working with computers. To further aid in there interactions, the report offers nine best practices for physicians, drawn from Kaiser Permanente's Interregional Clinical-Patient Communication Leaders and Family Practice Management:

  1. Let the patient see the screen and the data entered and offer the opportunity to confirm information.
  2. Maintain eye contact with the patient.
  3. Use a mobile monitor, if possible.
  4. Separate routine data entry from patient encounters.
  5. Improve typing skills as needed.
  6. Acknowledge the computer as a clinical tool, and explain the benefits to the patient.
  7. Explain actions on the computer to the patient.
  8. Address all patient concerns.
  9. Announce when the patient's EHR has been logged out, and that all data is secure.

More Articles on EHRs:

How to Overcome 3 Common Barriers to Physician EHR Adoption
Meaningful Use Payment Growth Slows in May
Multinational Survey: 91% of Physicians Use EHRs Either in Own Practice or at Hospital

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