“So where are you going?” I asked. And they proceeded to tell me, appearing genuinely excited about their upcoming adventures. Hematology/oncology. Dermatology. Pulmonary medicine. Some programs here in Chicago, some far away, but still, they were enthusiastic. It was nice to see.And so, in my carefully-conduced ICU research on three current-day residents accustomed to dot-phrases and instant everything, I’d say the electronic medical record industry is secure.
I watched as they typed their notes – much faster than I could ever imagine. They stopped briefly to answer a text message on their cell phone, then continued. Streaking fingers on keyboards, multi-tasking, opening new windows to search a reference, facile at looking up who was covering infectious disease today by perusing the on-line call schedule. “The operators taught me,” she said. “They got upset I was bothering them for the information all the time.”
And so it went.
Watching this, I couldn’t help but ask: “What would you guys ever do without an electronic record, I mean, have any of you ever entered a paper-based order?”
“Oh, yeah. I’ve done it. But I don’t think I could ever go back. Oh, God, no!”
“Really? What if the computer goes down? Doesn’t it ever worry you that things might grind to a halt? What about new residents who have never seen a paper chart?”
“Oh-my-God! They’d have no clue! I heard Suzie matched at Georgetown, and they still have paper-based records – I mean – I feel so sorry for her. She won’t have a clue. I’d never go to a program with paper records any more. It would suck.”