I have a question for you. A computer-genius friend is designing an electronic medical records system for a clinic—not only the hardware and software, but the entire setup. Where do patient and practitioner sit? When should record-keeping take place? How can practitioner view and enter material without it interfering with their personal contact?
I love EMRs. They provide maximum info quickly, ideally are retrievable anywhere, and don’t involve illegible scrawl. But as used, they can have drawbacks. Patients have lamented to me that their doctor no longer faces them, and instead shows them his/her back while typing on the laptop, as though the EMR is more important that their contact together. And I’ve heard from docs that some EMR software requires so much input from them that it steals time from their presence with the patient.
What’s been your experience? What do you recommend as a way to both keep a thorough, accessible record and a close therapeutic relationship?