A colleague, Norma Whitt, and I were talking about how impersonal medicine has become. She said, “I can tell you the one theme that I hear just in chit-chat with friends/family is how patients cannot stand it when a doctor has his face in the computer the whole visit.”
Some patients may not know what electronic medical records are, and most likely don’t know the upheaval surrounding EMR and the federal mandating of same. But here’s the one thing they do know: They get highly offended when they’re sitting across from the doctor in the examination room, trying to talk about the reason they’re there, and the doctor is looking at a computer screen instead of them. It makes them feel neglected and as though they’re not being heard. The frightening truth is, they are being neglected and they may not be being heard.
An article in Strategic Human Resource Management in Healthcare says that EMRs “do not reflect the natural flow of patient care,” particularly among ambulatory care clinicians. Well, duh! Come on. We even teach our children that when someone is speaking to you, look at that person while they are speaking. That’s the natural thing to do, unless you’re just trying to be rude.
So what can be done about it?
Dictation and transcription that’s what. Instead of burying his face in a computer screen, a doctor can dictate portions of the patient encounter. On the medical side, this will allow him to:
- Face the patient, as in any other normal conversation with a human being
- Hear and absorb what the patient is saying
- Listen for and capture those nuances that each unique patient brings to his or her situation
On the business side, this will allow him to:
- Spend less time entering data and more time face to face with the patient
- Likely make fewer charting mistakes
- Stop losing money on data self-entry (Rona Silkiss, MD, of Silkiss Eye Surgery www.eyework.com)
Call Bumgarner Transcription and EMR Integration at 864-905-3559. Or email us at NancyDavis@Transcribable.com. Tell us your situation, and we’ll implement a simple dictation and transcription solution. Start facing your patients again and get your face out of the screen. Because that’s just rude!