What physicians are saying: Hassles with EHRs, CMS website

AMA Wire
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AMA Wire® readers are sharing their pain in dealing with electronic health records (EHR) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services computer systems and voicing their thoughts on measuring blood pressure accurately.

Those were some of the topics recently addressed in physician comments on AMA Wire posts. It’s easy to express your opinion on AMA Wire topics. Just click the button at the bottom of every post to either sign in with your AMA credentials or create an account today.

Here’s what your colleagues are saying on the topic “Physicians identify primary concern with health IT”:

ahbrader: “I currently use EPIC and find it cumbersome to wade through the program. It is not intuitive. Why would a programmer not tab the screen like a chart so practitioners can flip through the program like we have done with paper charts for years?”

jastev: “Electronic records can be a valuable tool for data retrieval on a national scale. However data is misleading if the input is sloppy and unreliable [when] picking any answer for any question not directly queried. Always a problem with long shopping lists of information.”

dorkinh: “If I could make only one change [in EHRs], it would be that every EHR in the country had the same look and feel, the same commands, regardless of the vendor. Every medical student and every nursing student would start with this same core medical record EHR from the day they entered training.”

ADOBZYNIAK: “I am not sure the current and recent past iterations of EHRs were ready for prime time. They were poorly planned, oversold and driven by huge government windfalls for vendors.”

Additional comments posted on the story “What doctors are saying about measuring blood pressure” include:

lvidaver: “My own systolic BP drops 9% with 3 minutes of simply calming my thoughts.”

wcljbl: “On a recent visit to my cardiologist, I started rolling up my sleeve for the nurse to check my BP—he said roll it back down, I'll check it through your shirt sleeve. My med school mentors 50+ years ago said that a stethoscope always needs to go on bare skin, whether chest, heart, or elsewhere. Maybe we need to digress a bit.”

Finally, we think a number of physicians might have experienced this same frustration when trying to check their Sunshine Act financial data on the CMS website because the system was down Aug. 3-14 as a result of technical difficulties (from “How to dispute incorrect financial data before it goes public”):

“This is what I get today Aug. 9, 2014:

My Portal

Open Payments ▼

CMS Portal > Open Payments > Open Payments - Home

This portlet is unavailable.”

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Programmers are not doctors and they do not care to receive input from doctors. They are there to make the quickest buck possible by writing software that is easiest for them. ahbrader in the above comment makes an important point and that is something I would know myself if I did just a bit of research online (about 5 minutes, really) on how doctors organize patient records. The entire socialization (NOT EHR itself) of medicine has resulted in laughable results. I KNOW for a fact that a few college kids can design incredible in-house software to use for private practice docs. and even large hospitals. It's not high level programming. You are not building Madden 2015 for the Xbox. It's basic data entry software with a few bells and whistles such as communication options via internet and image files of various procedures and test results.
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Feb 24, 2017
Educational module provides physicians with the tools they need to understand chronic pain treatment and safely prescribe opioid medications.