Recently I had the unfortunate experience of spending approximately 3 months between a hospital and a rehabilitation facility. I spent two weeks in ICU and a week in the CCU with my husband who was critically ill.
This particular hospital had a full-scale EMR system. Although I truly believe we need to embrace technology, what I learned from my experience is that being a family member in this type of facility was difficult. I felt as though I spent much of this time dealing with a computer, not a health practitioner.
Now I am no stranger to a computer and very comfortable being around them — after all, I spend the majority of my day on a computer. However, I do think that as we all move forward with our EMRs and bedside computers we must not forget the patient and their family.
Dealing with a critically ill patient is hard enough. Dealing with a critically ill patient and losing the connection with the doctors and nurses because they speak to the computer, type directly in and no longer have eye contact with you is even more difficult.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that we need EMR systems in the hospital. I think doctors and other patient care providers need as immediate access to the record as possible. I know that having an electronic record can allow specialists to gain valuable insight into the patient quicker than a paper chart, especially when another doctor might have the chart checked out.
I just want my doctor to look at me. I need to see his face and understand if my husband, who is not able to speak to me, is ever going to again. I’m not going to see this and feel this when the doctor walks in, rolls the computer over and starts to read and then type in things as he speaks with me.
There needs to be some balance between the new technology and patient care. There needs to be a balance between doctors dictating reports and having them transcribed by a medical language professional and trying to save the hospital money by typing while with the patient.
As we watch medical records and health care evolve, we all need to remember no matter what our role is, that what we ultimately do is give good patient care and take care of patients in the best possible manner.
No related posts.