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All Press Releases for February 09, 2014 »
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Need for note taking can lead to doctor distraction

Several decades ago, doctors hoped that the use of computer technology would help streamline their jobs, freeing them to spend more time with patients.
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    February 09, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Several decades ago, doctors hoped that the use of computer technology would help streamline their jobs, freeing them to spend more time with patients. As computerized patient record systems have become more common, however, doctors have found that the opposite is true. Because these systems require them to enter their notes while they meet with patients, many doctors have said that they are unable to pay enough attention to the patients in their offices. While this may seem like a small problem, the continued reliance on computers in the exam room could contribute to physician distraction, which in turn could lead to incidences of medical errors.

According to a study published recently by the American Medical Association, the increased adoption of electronic medical record systems is a factor contributing to significant job dissatisfaction among physicians. Rather than spending their time with their full attention on patient needs, doctors must continuously type information into a computer as they talk. A study published in the journal Health Affairs found that doctors spend roughly 66 percent of each day completing this sort of clerical work.

The widespread adoption of electronic medical record systems has caused doctors and hospitals to consider a wide variety of possible solutions. For example, some hospitals have begun hiring scribes to take down notes about patients as doctors examine them. This frees doctors from the responsibility of focusing on both a computer and a patient at the same time. Early reports indicate that the use of scribes also improves doctors' job satisfaction.

Of course, this sort of solution is not without its problems. Having a third party present in an examination room raises serious privacy concerns. Furthermore, some patients feel uncomfortable speaking to their doctor while another person is present. Hiring a person to take down notes for a doctor also requires money and may increase already high healthcare costs.

These sorts of issues may seem to implicate only physician job satisfaction, but the reality is that they can also negatively impact patient care. A doctor may only have a short time to examine a patient and, if he is distracted, he may be unable to make an accurate diagnosis. Depending on the circumstances, this could lead to devastating results.

If you have suffered injury due to an error made by a doctor, consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal options and can help you decide on next steps.

Article provided by Marrone Law Firm
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