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Computers In The Exam Room

Mon, 08/13/2012 - 5:57am

Does your doctor use a computer in the exam room? Some people think that computers are a great way to keep track of patient information. Others see some advantage, but problems in the implementation. There are also a few Luddites who oppose this change simply on principle. I’ve had good experiences, and bad experiences, and believe we have a long way to go before computers are as helpful as they could be.

There are two separate issues. The first one is quite significant: is there software that will do what doctors need it to do? The other issue is how this affects the doctor-patient relationship – definitely another significant factor.

In every other field, the best way to buy software is to define what you need to do, then look for programs that will meet that need. To date, it appears that the accountants are shopping for software to meet their billing needs, without consulting physicians to determine what doctors want or need. Not being a doctor, I can’t really elaborate on that, but when doctors and nurses spend more time cursing the software than they do seeing patients and documenting the encounter, there’s obviously a problem.

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