The Problems with Electronic Medical Records
“Everything is so cumbersome,” says Karla Dick, a family medicine doctor in Arlington, Texas. “It’s slow compared to a paper chart. You’re having to click and zoom in and zoom out to look for stuff.” With all the zooming in and out, she explains it’s easy to end up in the wrong record. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to cancel an order because I was in the wrong chart.”
Among the daily frustrations for one emergency room physician in Rhode Island is ordering ibuprofen, a seemingly simple task that now requires many rounds of mouse clicking. Every time she prescribes the basic painkiller for a female patient, whether that patient is 9 or 68 years old, the prescription is blocked by a pop-up alert warning her that it may be dangerous to give the drug to a pregnant woman. The physician, whose institution does not allow her to comment on the systems, must then override the warning with yet more clicks. “That’s just the tiniest tip of the iceberg,” she says.