Letter to the Editor
No Effort to Correct Known EMR Click Errors
There is one inaccuracy in the January article by Sandra Scott Simons, MD—the first sentence: “I doubt anyone fully grasped how dangerous the click of a mouse could be back in 2009 when President Obama signed the HITECH Act requiring physicians to abandon paper charts and begin using electronic medical records.” (“Why EMRs Don't Work for EPs,” EMN. 2020;41:9; http://bit.ly/2udRNkD.) Almost all practicing physicians and virtually all EPs with computer backgrounds fully grasped and documented the dangers of click errors in 2009. What we did not know was how to stop the enormous financially motivated pressure to implement these systems without safeguards against click errors.
When the physician community pointed out the dangers to the coders, they were rebuffed and told they must learn not to make errors. There was no effort to blame the coders and software designers for creating systems that were sure to cause errors and little effort to create systems that minimized click errors. That would have slowed the implementation of systems designed to improve billing. Most of us in practice involved in EMR design fully grasped the dangers, which were well documented, but we were labeled and sidelined.
David Goldschmid, MD
Redwood City, CACopyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.