The nationwide implementation of electronic medical records (EMRs) resulted in many unanticipated consequences, even as these systems enabled most of a patient’s data to be gathered in one place and made those data readily accessible to clinicians caring for that patient. The redundancy of the notes, the burden of alerts, and the overflowing inbox has led to the “4000 keystroke a day” problem1 and has contributed to, and perhaps even accelerated, physician reports of symptoms of burnout. Even though the EMR may serve as an efficient administrative business and billing tool, and even as a powerful research warehouse for clinical data, most EMRs serve their front-line users quite poorly. The unanticipated consequences include the loss of important social rituals (between physicians and between physicians and nurses and other health care workers) around the chart rack and in the radiology suite, where all specialties converged to discuss patients.
Verghese A, Shah NH, Harrington RA. What This Computer Needs Is a Physician: Humanism and Artificial Intelligence. JAMA. 2018;319(1):19–20. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.19198
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