We almost titled this post, A Day In The Morning…, because in Dr. Fred N. Pelzman’s case, he has to click through 50 meaningless fields and CTRL + ALT + DEL things, before he’s even gotten his morning coffee. Then there were the 12 arbitrary nutrition prompts that were finally whittled down to one semi-helpful question. Of course, skipping this portion required additional clicks. And don’t forget the auto-scheduling of colonoscopies ten years down the road, regardless of the fact that some patients needed a screening one, two, or five years later instead. But Pelzman describes his daily EMR experience as useful, like mashing clay in a pot with a stick and plotting patient data in cuneiform and then translating it back to English with pen and paper. Ouch. Seriously, doctor, we feel for you. We prefer our mornings meaningful, and useful, not meaningfully useless.
And we agree completely. Patient care has nothing to do with how many times we click on something, how many different boxes we hastily fill out. But the way most EMR are designed nowadays, you’d think otherwise.