Letting Patients Write in the EMR

Here is a brilliant concept from the Ivory Tower researchers.  A few of them have decided to blow the medical chart wide open! They figured let’s let EVERYONE put stuff in there. For those that don’t know, it used to be just the doctor who wrote in the medical chart but all the new bogus regulations made it necessary to have medical assistants, front staff and scribes doing their thing in there as well.  So what’s next?  Patients!  These researchers decided it would be awesome to let them “type their agenda into their clinic note before a visit”.  Seems simple, right?  Uh..no.  Even as a DPC doc I don’t think I have time for this.  Anyway, in this study, “a research assistant met with patients in the waiting room, provided them with a laptop with the clinic’s EHR interface, and let them type their agenda.”  So, one more staff person to hire.  You can afford that, right?  That doesn’t matter to researchers because they don’t live in the real world.

Now the sneaky fun stuff.  “The patient’s agenda remained in the notes section of the permanent visit record, adjacent to the physician’s note, in the EHR.”  Can anyone else see a malpractice attorney licking his chops going through old patient charts to find some small irrelevant complaint of abdominal pain ten years ago in a colon cancer case?  One where the patient refused screenings but the lawyer now says YOU missed the abdominal pain?  Case closed.

In the end the “patients and clinicians agreed that the agendas improved patient-clinician communication” and it may “enhance care by engaging patients and giving clinicians an efficient way to prioritize patients’ concerns, noted the researchers.”

C’mon.  Really?  Let’s find some real answers to improving care instead of creating new problems.

97440cookie-checkLetting Patients Write in the EMR