Letter to the Editor
Dr. Mark DeBard's editorial (“Go-Live Made Me Dead-Tired,” EMN 2012;34:3; http://bit.ly/DeBardViewpt)and Dr. Edwin Leap's column hit home beautifully. (“Deliver Us from the Click,” EMN 2012;34:14; http://bit.ly/LeapClick.)
Our ED implemented its EMR about a year ago, and I came desperately close to quitting my job over it. The sheer ludicrousness of paying me what they do to do clerical work is bad enough, but the inefficiency and interference with my care of patients is even worse. And the primitive and unfriendly nature of the software is astonishing in an era where I can ask my phone to find me a nearby Indian restaurant. Using software in the ED that can't recognize anything but capital letters is simply absurd.
The longer I do my job, the more I have seen “improvements” that do nothing but minimize the time I can actually spend with the patient. That raises my frustration level to where I have no patience left to manage difficult people, whether they are patients or staff. That serves some kind of purpose for the bean-counters and statistic-gatherers, but none that I can see for the people I'm there to help. I don't expect to continue this work for very much longer because I am nearing retirement age. But these (hopefully) well-intended and deeply distasteful changes will make the job easier to leave.
Lynne Flaherty, MD