As one of Kaus’s readers put it,Posted by Hube at January 23, 2013 05:18 PM | TrackBack
My wife is a staff physician [at] a major East Coast hospital. Her employer was one of the first to sign up for federal money to implement a system which hospital management freely acknowledges is “terrible” but there was so much money on offer that they couldn’t say no. Probably the biggest problem with electronic records is simply that it requires the physician to input all notes and orders, rather than dictate them.
As a result, as my bride puts it, “they’ve taken the highest-paid person in the department and turned him/her into a data entry clerk”. On average, she and her colleagues spend more time per patient wading through drop-down menus, clicking boxes and filling in required but utterly irrelevant information than they do at the bedside, actually treating the patient.
In short, it’s her experience that they see fewer patients per shift than they did previously, and spend less time with each one, now that they are required to sit down at a computer after seeing each patient and jumping through hoops to place orders instead of, as previously, simply telling the nurse what is needed and then moving on to the next patient.