"Where did that menu item come from?" I recently thought. "Come to think of it, where did the Allergy field go? What's that? I have to enter an 'Order' for a consent now? Whatever happened to speaking with the patient?"
Such are the myriad of thoughts the EMR engenders lately. So ridiculous. So time-consuming. Death my a hundred thousand clicks. It's like my fingertips are on high continuous suction. Pretty soon I'll have to click the "Excuse Me" or "Pause" button so I can use the bathroom.
Seriously. In medicine, everything is entered on the computer now. Everything. Not just notes and orders, but schedules, message boards, meeting notifications, billing check-boxes that must be paired with diagnosis check boxes. If it isn't clicked, it didn't happen. Every time a new "idea" for process improvement that springs forth is codified for the computer. And guess who's the data entry clerk?
It's gotten so bad we now must scroll to display all the menu options. Even filtering the notes to ones you wrote is dreadfully slow. Unfiltering them worse still. Precious seconds of patient care time are repeatedly wasted.
It was bad before, but it's getting worse. The foxes are minding the hen house of patient safety and doctor overload. Not that computers aren't wonderful at some things - they are - but to suggest, even for a moment, that they can fix what ails health care in America is ludicrous; to suggest they aren't silently inflicting their own patient care comprise even crazier.
Yet the drumbeat of unending support for computers, simulation, data manipulation continues. Profit does this.
The data clerks are growing weary.
And patients are noticing.