electronic medical records

The downside to electronic medical records

August 08, 2018 - 3:45 am

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Medicine has become box click crazy. 

With the institution of electronic medical records in doctors offices around the country there is a tendency for those monitoring both the care of patients and payment of care for these patients to look at the number of boxes that have been clicked by the physician to determine if care has been provided. 

Medicare actually looks at the graphs and pays physicians based on their ability to demonstrate everything from prevention of falls to evaluation of patients for depression by boxes clicked.  

Certainly the government officials who designed the rules thought that a checklist was a great idea. But there is a downside. Overall, quality of care is not improving as predicted and physicians, in an effort to click boxes, are often not making eye-to-eye contact with their patients or explaining any of the key points. 

What looks good on paper is not always good care. It's very important that doctors continue to write things out and not just click boxes.