If you have visited the doctor recently, you probably noticed a new instrument in the examination room. It is a computer running an electronic medical records system, or EMR, that has been lauded by federal agencies as bringing a revolution to health care. But to patients, the computer has proven to be a nuisance rather than a blessing. It is hard to get quality health care when a patient must compete with the computer for his or her doctor's attention.
Rest assured, most doctors do not like the computer coming between them and their patient either. Multiple studies demonstrate that roughly two-thirds of physicians are dissatisfied with their EMRs and do not think that they improve quality of care.1, 2, 3, 4
For physicians, the computer has become the instrument of obedience to a senseless body of regulations that directs not only the technology itself but also its use as a vehicle to "improve quality of care." If your doctor pays attention to you instead of entering data, he or she will be penalized by Medicare regulations that reduce physicians to data-entry clerks.
The use of information technology as a Trojan horse for government-driven health care began with a part of the 2009 federal Stimulus Bill called Meaningful Use, or MU. Through a system of incentives and penalties, the architects of MU masterminded a major digital revolution of our health care infrastructure within five short years.
The developers of this system also force-fed physicians the unproven practice of using information technology to improve quality. Despite the mandated implementation of EMRs under MU, they have failed to deliver on any of the promises made in 2009, including a higher quality of care.5 By the end of the five-year program, doctors' support for MU was waning.
MU would have disappeared quietly had it not been for a unique set of circumstances and timing related to Medicare, the federal healthcare program for seniors. The formula used to calculate Medicare payments to physicians -- called SGR, or the Sustainable Growth Rate -- had for several years dictated payment cuts of 20-30 percent.
Read more here: www.forbes.com/sites/sallypipes/2017/02/08/the-doctors-computer-will-see-you-now/#5fd5b25825fe