Physician Focused on Computer Screen, Not Patient

Definitely sends a message to the patient. I’m still just surprised that it’s still happening, but it is:

What’s annoying to me is that there are simple solutions to this problem. Not the least of which is positioning the screen in a way that you can look at your patient while you’re working on the computer. An even better way is Dr. James Legan’s approach that he calls #ProjectedEHR. In Dr. Legan’s case he plugs in an HDMI cable so that patients can see him work in the EHR. Plus, he can show patients their results and other health info.

Plenty of other doctors just choose not to document in the exam room so they can focus on the patient. As mobile EHR interfaces develop, I could see a partial documentation done on a mobile phone or tablet and then the rest of the documentation done after the fact as well. I’m a little surprised we haven’t seen more of this already.

Of course, I’ve written for many years about the coming video EHR. That would be a game changer. Although, would certainly take a dramatic change in perspective. Scribes are also popular with many people I know. I’ve even heard of people working on remote scribes which is quite interesting.

What other solutions have you employed to combat the challenges of interacting with patients and the EHR?

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

1 Comment

  • This is an excellent post and a topic which we focus on constantly. It’s a clear case where doctors are trying to do all they can to focus on the patient, but find most existing solutions actually get in their way of spending as much time with their patients as possible. If we think about the stethoscope, although it is one of the most common tools in the doctor’s black bag, it still represents medicine at its most basic and best, even in an era of high tech. This piece of technology provides the doctor with a direct and unmediated connection to the patient’s most vital organs. There’s no screen to be checked, no dial to be adjusted, no image to be developed, no printout to be read—just a doctor doing what good doctors have done for thousands of years — listening to the patient.

    The doctor-patient relationship is at the heart of medicine — and we (SRSsoft) are passionate about protecting that relationship. This is something that can be seen in our non-intrusive HCIT solutions that both recognize this and satisfy government and insurance regulations, while also restoring the physician’s ability to focus on what matters most: the patient.

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