I was reading on LinkedIn the other day, and someone suggested that in far too many ways we’re restricting our view to the following question:
How can I spend less time in a patient encounter?
While this certainly applies to our use of technology in healthcare it goes well beyond just EHR. Although, one challenge with technology like EHR is you get exactly out of it what you design it to do. If the focus of your EHR is just about minimizing the patient encounter, then that’s what you’ll get. If the focus of your EHR is to maximize reimbursement, then that’s what you’ll get. If the focus of your EHR is to meet government requirements, that’s what you’ll get.
Instead, of you focus an EHR on providing amazing patient care, that’s what you’ll get.
Many like to blame the EHR vendors for not producing EHR software that improves patient care. While I think they hold some responsibility, they are mostly just trying to satisfy the demand of their customers.
Healthcare deserves better and we need to find ways to incentivize doctors to want an EHR because it improves patient care. Otherwise, we’ll keep getting great billing engines which minimize the patient encounter at the expense of great health care.