Sunday, July 26, 2015

The EHR and Washington

There is nothing better than a pediatrician who is an administrator, who wants to run for Governor and who in the process goes to Washington to specify how all physicians must in the future prepare their medical records. In fact in any real world one would find such a tale absurd, yet it is the truth. We now have the "meaningful use" standard, where did that come from, for the management of patient records. I thought this was stupid seven years ago, and yes even in 1992 when I first wrote of this, and still do.

Patient records are important, and part of the reason we never really got the problem solved is because it is really hard. Sometimes hard problems are hard for a reason.

At a recent AMA meeting as reported by Medpage the writer notes:

Almost immediately, physicians gave voice to the barriers to care they say are caused by electronic health records systems. Over the course of the 90-minute meeting they raised concerns over reduced productivity, the security of private patient medical records, interoperability, and government regulation. "We're removing the science from medicine," said one physician who described having to check "yes" and "no" boxes rather than being able to note subtle nuances his patients reported. "Thank God I learned to type in high school -- I never thought I'd use it," said another, explaining that she now has to make sure every employee she hires can type, regardless of the job for which they are hired.

It frankly is the arrogance of many who go to Washington who think that they know all there is to know...then again perhaps not.