Electronic Health Records Are Leading To Stress

A paperless office sounds like a noble goal.  It means going all the way to electronic recordkeeping, note taking, and ordering.  It means that fewer trees have to die to fill the back rooms of hospitals and clinics with medical histories, paperwork that then makes it very hard to discover old diagnoses and insurance claims.  It’s the promise of cleaning up and indexing all this information that led the government to subsidize electronic health records starting in 2009.

Unfortunately, EHRs haven’t been able to fully deliver on their promise – not by a long shot.  In fact, many physicians take issue with the fact that they have to pay attention to a computer screen in order to take down notes instead of writing notes on a paper chart, a chart that allows them to face their patients and which they can set down at a moment’s notice.  Electronic records also have a way of complicating matters thanks to the way they often demand that doctors keep track of medical regulations in real time.

In fact, many medical watchers see EHRs as one of the leading causes of the burnout that by some estimates affects half of all physicians in America.  They certainly aren’t helping doctors feel better about their jobs, according to a major study conducted by the Mayo Clinic.  44 percent of those who responded said they were dissatisfied with electronic health records.  Even among the youngest age group, doctors who are under 40 years old and who have spent a large percentage of their careers with EHRs, only 46 percent said they were at least satisfied with electronic systems.

Fortunately, there are ways to help alleviate this issue, along with the stacks of paperwork that existed long before electronic recordkeeping caught on.  Medical scribes take on the burden of taking down records, logging prescriptions which physicians place, retrieving test results, scheduling appointments, and more.  They can also help with physicals and other examinations by sitting at the computer and entering notes so the doctor doesn’t have to, or by transcribing written notes after an examination if having a third person in the examination room would feel too intrusive.

Here at ProScribe, we place some of the best professional, trained medical scribes at hospitals and clinics across the country.  By taking on the paperwork of the modern medical industry, our scribes let doctors and other physicians spend more time with their patients and meet more of them every day, which means our service pays for itself in a very real sense.