5 ways to ensure the EHR doesn’t hurt the patient-doc relationship

Doc and computer

There’s no way around it. As a result of practices’ involvement in accountable care organizations and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, capturing patient data in the electronic health record (EHR) is here to stay. Thus, physicians and patients have little choice but to make room for the computer in the exam room.

Still, there are ways doctors can accommodate the computer during the patient visit without disrupting their interactions with patients, according to Medical Economics

Reviewing the patient record before entering the exam room and explaining the value of the EHR are two ways doctors can prevent the computer from disrupting their face time with a patient, as previously reported by FiercePracticeManagement.

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Here are some additional recommendations:

Use the EHR as an educational tool. You have access to the patient’s X-rays and CAT scans. Display those images on the screen and walk through the visuals during your conversation with a patient, William Maples, M.D., of The Institute for Healthcare Excellence, told the publication.

Become a better typist. If you want to enter patient data more efficiently, while improving the patient experience, take a typing class. Your ability to maintain eye contact will only improve, said Ken Kubitschek, M.D., chief executive officer of Carolina Internal Medicine Associates in Asheville, North Carolina.

The computer should be the third “person” in the room. Don’t shove the computer in a corner and have your back to your patient, recommends Kubitschek. Instead, angle it so you can share your screen with your patient and continue to have face time. If you have to turn your back to use the computer, ask the patient for permission.


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