I stumbled upon this article in the New Yorker today and thought is raised some good points and perspectives about the use of computers in healthcare. It offers insight from providers, administrative staff, IT nerds, and patients. Balancing patient interaction with documentation is no easy feat and I think the author of the articles poses some good points and gives us some ways to be better about our care and things to be optimistic about in regards to the seemingly ever-present clinician’s laptop. I originally started reading it to share with friends and family thinking it would help them understand why I cuss about documentation so much, but it ended up making me think maybe EMR isn’t 100% evil. It’s a bit of a long read, but if you get a chance to read it feel free to post your thoughts below.
I really agree. When we decide to devote our lives to PT, we’ve chosen the glamorous side of patient care. It’s a hard realization that realistically documentation is equally as important as good patient care to be a good medical provider. That includes documenting relevant conversations with other healthcare practitioners involved in the patient’s care, important patient notes, and decisions for upcoming treatments. The author of your article makes a lot of great points, and I’ve found that it’s more meaningful if I explain why I’m “jotting this down” while the patient is in front of me. I think it’s similar to explaining your plan of care; if the patient can understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, they’re much more likely to understand its meaning and importance rather than coming to their own conclusion.