In the ongoing debate over electronic medical records (Wait, is there a debate? Maybe it’s more a conversation), an example today that illustrates why we doctors hate it.
So I have a patient today that has bad arthritis in his right knee and needs to get it replaced. For reasons that HIPAA will not let me say, he needs a transfusion of a blood product before surgery. Miraculously, someone had had the foresight to actually make sure this product was available for him. Great! That’s a whole other story line we didn’t have to get into. So he got the product right? Well, the order for the product has to go into a physician online order entry system. OK, so I did that. The nurses say “you didn’t put it in”. I say “yes I did”. They say, “well it’s not coming up.” Turns out you have to do pre-op orders IN preop holding. You can’t put them in in a computer, say, upstairs. Even though it’s supposedly the same system.
Say I’m a surgical resident. I have a thousand patients to round on in the morning, but I’m also assisting in a case in the operating room on someone I know needs X pre-operative medication. I can’t just drop an order in any computer that happens to be nearby. I have to physically go down to pre-op to order it, then go back up and do whatever else I was doing. THIS MAKES NO SENSE. I’ts not better for patients, it’s not better for doctors, it’s not better for nurses, it’s not cheaper, it’s not safer. It’s just a pain in the butt.
Show me an online medical record system that integrates everything on one screen with one sign-in, that imports information automatically from pharmacy and laboratory systems, that functions in all capacities everywhere I work and does not require redundant data entry and I’m there. No federal subsidy required. Until such time, just give me my blood product OK?!