This is why some physicians 'hate' EMRs

Alyssa Rege - Print  | 

While the healthcare industry has spent billions of dollars to make EMRs flexible and transferable, some physicians remain dissatisfied with EMRs because they don't solve their biggest issue: documentation, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report. 

Some physicians and EMR specialists suggest that for years, EMR innovation has been focused on making the billing process more efficient instead of improving the technology's clinical functions. While various firms have made strides in configuring the technology for physician use, the handwritten medical chart has simply been replaced with "a patchwork of systems that impose doctors' precious time and have yet to deliver clear improvements," according to the report.

"The complaint doctors and patients have is they feel rushed[,] and that they're not [providing or] getting enough attention," said Pelu Tran, president and co-founder of Augmedix, an EMR startup in San Francisco. "These issues are all tied to … documentation. Doctors are too busy and margins are too thin for them to spend the time making sure the paperwork has I's dotted and T's crossed."

Despite their perceived shortcomings, roughly 86.9 percent of physicians across various specialties have adopted EHR systems, according to data released by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

"We're not at the promised land," said R. Adams Dudley, MD, a pulmonologist and professor at the UC San Francisco School of Medicine. "There are tremendous advantages to getting the information in electronic form, but it isn't happening overnight."

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