Look into my eyes. How EMR affects the doctor-patient relationship

To use the EMR, doctors have to look the monitor, use their hands to digit on the keyboard or touch the screen. By consequence, the interaction with the patient decreases, as well as the ability to make an accurate visit in the same time. Is this the only way to do both things?

We drive the car looking at the road, thanks to head up display showing the speed and navigator information; we ask the audio-system to read the last emails, we make smartphone calls pronouncing the name of person to talk with.

Voice recognition is now a reality, in addition to the traditional screen new technologies are available to receive information, such as the text-to-speech features.
But in the EMRs world nothing seems to be changed! The interaction mode has been the same for 20 years, the only news is the touch screen, which simply replaces the keyboard.

Doctors don’t like to digit while visiting their patients, because they must look at the screen. Patients, from their side, suffer the lack of interaction with the doctor, considering it a poor attention towards them.

There is no EMR I learnt about which natively implements the vocal reconnaissance and text-to-speech technologies. It is impossible to give vocal commands to the software nor obtain vocal information from this. Contrary to assistants or nurses who talk with doctors, the EMR remains a data container, that requires a long manual data entry.

I just wrote on this blog about the slow evolution of healthcare software and how it does not take advantage of new technologies and hardware potentialities. The EMR is unfortunately an example of this, where the innovation is limited to marginal aspects and is unable to revolutionise their functioning.

On the other hand, we are amazed if doctors resist or are not enthusiastic to replace the paper medical record with an EMR or introduce a new one. If we continue to make things in the same way, we’ll always obtain the same results. Think outside the box!

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