- (Photo by Barry Gutierrez/For KHN, Source Kaiser Health News)
I am astounded each time I walk into my doctor’s office, a small private practice with two internists, one RN, and the necessary support staff surrounded by mounds and mounds of paper. My physician is always running behind, and with the amount of paperwork accumulated each time I see him, it’s no surprise.
When I arrived for my first visit, I was immediately greeted with 4 packets of paperwork to fill out. No surprise, and nothing new, but it raises the question – why couldn’t you hand me an iPad to shortcut this process in the future, or why couldn’t I release an electronic version of my insurance records, EMRs, consent forms, etc. Empowering me with information portability, and integrating everything that’s not my personal consumption of care seamlessly into my physician’s workflow.
The current model is littered with obstacles, increasing my time in the waiting room, and my physician’s time spent doing anything but what he should be focusing on – providing care.
I took the opportunity to ask the receptionist (who I am sure wears a multitude of hats at the office) if they had an EMR vendor. She informed me that indeed they did, and their relationship began more than one year ago. I asked why they were still using paper to which she replied, “Because no one has the time to digitalize everything you see piled up behind me!”
As a patient, granted one who likely pays far more attention than the average, it’s staggering how the system trusted with our health is operating in the technological equivalent of the Stone Age!
But then I discover information explaining the perils of going digital, and the inherent lack of improved outcomes. At times like this is when I realize that from the outside looking in, I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about!
So I ask you – what experiences has your practice had in choosing to or choosing not to go digital? Any perils to avoid, or perhaps any silver linings you could share with the community?
We’re all ears!