You know it really surprises me on some level to hear about all of the resistance to using an EMR system on the part of doctors. I use one and it hasn’t exactly been as easy as falling off a log, but I practiced and it wasn’t so hard after a little while. Did I have to change my work flow? Yes. Do I need to do a LOT of documentation on the computer? Well, only nearly 100%. Do I have to click my mouse more than I would prefer to? Sure. Who doesn’t?
At the same time, did I want to go through the hell of medical school, residency, and fellowship? Those weren’t cake walks, but I did them because I knew I could eventually learn new skills that would be valuable for providing healthcare. Do I want to be viewed as an inflexible curmudgeon who refuses to change and move into the future, fully participating in all of the fun of techological marvels that will be coming? I wish more doctors would embrace the “lifelong learning” that so many allegedly support when they talk in front of others. Electronic medical records are as important of a medical advance as other medical tools that, like the stethoscope, we use all the time without question. I wish doctors would stop all the whining and bellyaching that “it hurts”, and just get on the horse already. It’s the future, after all.
Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009. He can be reached at email@example.com.