Since IANAT (I Am Not A Techie), I can only offer an analyst’s take on the matter, but I believe author Margalit Gur-Arie’s argument makes great sense. Anytime a technology goes beyond being a tool to driving decisions, humans have to adapt — and that breaks their stride. And off-balance care can lead to patient deaths. As she notes:
If EHRs become as pervasive in everyday medicine as ONC is proposing, every patient will eventually be touched by an EHR. It is very likely that some errors will be prevented by the sheer existence of an EHR but new and unfamiliar errors will also be introduced as side effects.
I continue to hope we can find a way to make EMR use simple, natural and fluid, but honestly, I’m still pretty skeptical it will happen. So thanks to Gur-Arie for reminding people that EMRs, EHRs, PHRs and all other related tools are far from a panacea.