Electronic medical records act as a kind of third party in the doctor-patient relationship, a new report in the Annals of Family Medicine concludes. And that can either be a good thing or highly problematic depending on the role that technology plays. If EMR technology is integrated into physician work flow, benefits are tangible. On the other hand, in cases where doctors felt uncomfortable with the technology, a barrier to communication was created, leading to an efficiency trap. "Physicians were often conflicted between recording data in the EHR and giving patients one-on-one attention," the authors note.
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