I recently spent an hour with my cardiologist. He is employed by a very large teaching hospital. After checking my vitals, listening to my heart, and asking a few questions, he moved from the exam table to the keyboard—where he remained.
The focus of our conversation quickly moved away from me and onto him—more accurately to his Hospital’s three-year-old EHR system. I learned quickly from him that calling it a system was somewhat optimistic.
Here is what I learned from him about the hospital’s EHR:
- It is possible to take your most expensive and most trained resource away from what they do and have them spend forty-five minutes of the hour performing a clerical task—data entry.
- Productivity is down at least thirty percent.
- He called EHR the “Silent intruder in the room.”
- “What are the benefits?” I asked. “It does a great job collecting data for those who may want to use it against us in a law suit.”
- “What about interoperability?” “Not in my lifetime,” he replied.
- “It makes everyone’s job easier but mine and the nurses.”
- “Did anyone speak to you about what you needed from an EHR?” He is still laughing.
- He needed his nurse to help him schedule my next appointment.
- “How would you react if I asked if what the hospital implemented was nothing more than a hundred million dollar scanner?” “I would not disagree with that assessment.”
The good news is that he is arranging a meeting for me with the hospital’s CEO to see what I can do to help.