Any new technology necessarily has a phase in which unnoticed bugs as well as unforeseen challenges crop up. In its early stages, the snail’s pace of a dial-up connection often made using the Internet onerous: before completing an email, one was often interrupted by pop-ups, viruses, cryptic 404 error messages, and a cacophony of sounds from the modem as the line repeatedly disconnected. Yet, as technology matures, the ability to send an email anywhere in the world now rests in our pockets. EMR has often been decried as time-consuming, disorganized, and plagued with errors; these problems are temporary and addressable. Moreover, EMR offers some unique and compelling benefits that are sure to make paper records obsolete.
The most common complaint about EMR is that it is hard to get the patient’s full story. An EMR will only accept what input it is given; it cannot generate its own data. For those pining for the “good old days,” there are blank notes into which one can free-text grammatically correct notes to their heart’s desire. There is also endless customizability in creating template H&Ps for different chief complaints.