For everyone who thinks Electronic Medical Records are perfect than you should see this article.    It seems Drexel University’s Scot Silverstein is a renowned critic and I love it.   Here are some great highlights from the piece:

  • “We’re in the midst of a mania right now” as traditional patient charts are switched to computers, he said in an interview in his Lansdale home. “We know it causes harm, and we don’t even know the level of magnitude. That statement alone should be the basis for the greatest of caution and slowing down.”
  • But the notion that electronic charts prevent more mistakes than they cause just isn’t proven, Silverstein says. Government doesn’t require caregivers to report problems, he points out, so many computer-induced mistakes may never surface
  • He doesn’t discount the potential of digital records to eliminate duplicate scans and alert doctors to drug interactions and unsuspected dangers.  But the rush to implementation has produced badly designed products that may be more likely to confound doctors than enlighten them
  • A growing collection of evidence suggests that poorly designed software can obscure clinical data, generate incorrect treatment orders, and cause other problems. 
  • He believes in the potential power of electronic records for good, he says. But any doctor who feels bound by the Hippocratic oath’s injunction to “first, do no harm,” he adds, should balk at what’s going on.
  • “Patients are being harmed and killed as a result of disruptions to care caused by bad health IT,” he said. “I’m skeptical of the manner and pace” of implementation, “not of the technology itself. . . . My only bias is against bad medicine. And my bias is against people with complacent attitudes about bad medicine.”
Cheers to you Dr. Silverstein!  And keep up the good fight.


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