To make EHR use more effective, give patients their own screen

LETTER — Posted Dec. 17, 2012

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Regarding “EHR implementation: How common blunders can alienate your patients” (Article, Sept. 24): I have used the electronic health record, perhaps longer than most: since 1994, in fact. As the article implies, one of the major deficits of the EHR is the lack of engagement by the physician as he or she documents an encounter with a patient into the record and thereby is continually looking at the computer screen. This is almost unavoidable in my experience.

The article suggests a variety of solutions that in my opinion are less than optimal. The solution to this problem is to have another separate computer screen dedicated solely to the patient. This way, the physician will have the ability to actively engage the patient in what is being entered into the record in real time.

For example, as the physician enters data into the record, he or she can actively engage the patient with questions such as: I am entering the meds you told me you’re taking; look at the screen as I enter them. Are they correct?

Bruce Kleinman, MD, Oak Park, Il

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