“I’m here to say ‘Yes, they can,’ which is different from ‘Yes, they always do,’” says James Moore, MD, President-Elect of the California Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA).
To the contrary, enthusiasm for electronic medical records (EHRs) is part of a “syndrome of inappropriate overconfidence in computing,” argues Christine Doyle, MD, the CSA’s Speaker of the House.
The two physician anesthesiologists (and self-identified “computer geeks”) squared off in a point-counterpoint debate in New Orleans as part of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) annual meeting, with Dr. Moore defending the benefits of EHRs and Dr. Doyle arguing against them. Dr. Doyle chairs the ASA’s Committee on Electronic Media and Information Technology, while Dr. Moore leads the implementation of the anesthesia information management system (AIMS) at UCLA.
Legibility, accuracy, quality
Dr. Moore defined safety in anesthesia care as “minimizing patient injury resulting from or occurring during anesthesia, and keeping surgeons from harming patients any more than they have to.” He said that computerization contributes to safe anesthesia care by improving legibility, offering clinical decision support with readily available reference information, and providing alerts and reminders.
Computer tracking of the anesthetized patient’s vital signs is more accurate, Dr. Moore said. It prevents the “normalization” of blood pressure that tends to appear on the paper record. Quality reports are easier to generate and outcomes are easier to measure with EHRs in place, he noted. “Postop troponin levels and acute kidney injury are easy to track.”
I can only speak as a patient. My eye doctor never seems to know anything about me because to find out about my past history requires that he search his computer rather then just flipping back through a paper chart. More and more I finding him to appear ill prepared and downright incompetent as he never seems to follow up on past issues; in fact even though I come once a yr or more , its like he doesnt even know who I am. This is something which my doctors never did in the past. A friend of mind said that her doctor told her she had to hire a scribe because paperless charting required her to talk and type at the same time which required her to pay more attention to her hand held pc then to her pts. It seems to me that more and more we are taking the pt out of medicine and caring more about following the rules or making things more systematic. The pt is already somewhat objectified and treated as just another diagnosis. I think there needs to be some happy medium here where we can be efficient and be REAL at the same time.Jnelson
Almost forgot.... ANYONE who doesnt get a flu shot MUST wear a snowflake on their badge to identify them. The head of the dept in charge of inforcing this was proud to call herself the flu nazi. Also last year I was required to take a CEU about flu vaccines in the elderly. I was surprised to learn that the older we get the less vaccines work on our failing immune systems. This CEU only bolstered my resolve not to get a flu shot. Let me say i am NOT anti-vaccine. What I am is PRO- I get to decide what goes into my own body.