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Study: Strong EHRs could improve doctors' relationships with patients

May 29, 2013
Healthcare IT By LW Consulting Inc.

Electronic health records (EHRs) are clearly the future for the medical industry and healthcare IT consulting can assist organizations in proper implementation. However, it is important for all staff members to understand the intricacies in each new technology, and not sacrifice quality patient care in the process.

Some experts in the field believe that in fact, doctors are spending too much time behind the computer, and not enough time with their patients. According to a recent study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, medical interns spend 12 percent of their time examining and talking to patients and more than 40 percent of their time behind a computer.

The findings were published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and researchers concluded that better EHRs could reduce the time spent looking up patient histories. In turn, that would leave doctors more time to spend with patients.

"One of the most important learning opportunities in residency is direct interaction with patients," Lauren Block, a clinical fellow in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leader of the study, said in an announcement. "Spending an average of eight minutes a day with each patient just doesn't seem like enough time to me."

Additionally, the interns spent 64 percent of their time on paperwork, researching patient histories and placing orders.

Healthcare organizations of all sizes can benefit from partnering with a hospital consultant who is well-trained in EHRs and other technological innovations. That way, all staff members can be taught how to use newly implemented systems properly and still keep quality patient care a top priority.