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Wed Nov 27, 2013, 10:53 AM

So much data-gathering, so little doctoring

I'm a stomach doc. I've seen thousands of patients, inside and out, for 25 years. I've done research, I've taught, I've been an administrator. And as the years rolled by, I've watched the healthcare industry begin to undo healthcare itself. It's complex, cumbersome and bureaucratic, and the bigger the practice or the clinic or the hospital and research facilities like the universities I used to work at the worse the problem.

For a physician and his patient, the exam room visit is everything. Healing begins right then and there. The process of telling your story, being heard, being touched and feeling connected to your doctor is an incredibly powerful element of healing. While we're bombarded with the latest and greatest discoveries and inventions of medical science, the fact of the matter is that most people who walk into a doctor's office don't have some horrible disease. They simply don't feel well. My job is to listen and observe, to figure out who really does have something bad going on and who may simply be feeling the effects of life's wear and tear.

There's a huge difference between that and the healthcare industry, which is more about industry than health or care. Third-party payors don't really care what happens in an exam room. The visit that you, as a patient, have been anxiously waiting for could just as easily be shoes or oranges or pork bellies to these folks. It's just a commodity. It's just data. And now the industry wants it documented in a format that works for billers and statisticians but not so much for doctors: the electronic medical record.

That's the note your doctor is probably busy pecking away at while you're trying to explain what ails you. In theory, an EMR should make care better and more efficient. It's falling pretty far short of that goal.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-jones-doctor-emr-labor-pains-20131124,0,5317576.story

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Reply So much data-gathering, so little doctoring (Original post)
bemildred Nov 2013 OP
xchrom Nov 2013 #1

Response to bemildred (Original post)

Fri Nov 29, 2013, 05:05 PM

1. du rec.

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