Administrators and insurance providers promote electronic medical records as a magic bullet for patient care. They say EMRs save money and advance care.
The truth is more complicated. EMRs:
1. Take time away from patient care.
2. Prioritize charting over care.
3. Fragment patient-care processes on menus.
4. Assume that patient’s needs are routine and predictable.
5. Encourage charting by exception, putting words in a nurses’ mouth for which she can be held responsible later.
6. Can bury crucial information in a sea of irrelevant questions and answers.
7. Can make it harder to catch errors because of their extensive, orderly, and official appearance.
8. Replace clinical knowledge with technical knowledge.
9. Make care less personal and human.
10. Limit narrative charting, which is usually more concise, direct, personalized, and holistic.
Read more from the New York Nurse and EMR expert Linette Davis: