Clinical ControversiesPaper Charts A Continued Barrier to Psychiatric Care in the Midst of a Broken and Fragmented Mental Health SystemFrost, Emma D. BS∗; Donlon, Jack BS∗; Mitwally, Aimin MD†; Magnani, Gretchen MD‡; Tomlin, Shay APN†; Berk, Michael MD§; Koola, Maju Mathew MD‡ Author Information ∗Cooper Medical School of Rowan University †Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Cooper University Health Care ‡Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Cooper University Health Care, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, New Jersey §Deakin University, IMPACT—the Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation, School of Medicine, Barwon Health, Geelong, Australia. Send reprint requests to Emma D. Frost, BS, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, 401 Broadway, Camden, NJ 08103. E-mail: [email protected]. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 211(1):p 1-4, January 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000001606 Buy Metrics Abstract The use of electronic medical records (EMRs) has increased dramatically over the last 15 years. However, psychiatry has lagged. EMRs are not being used by many mental health professionals. There are many reasons, including financial burden, lack of technological support, stigma, disaggregation of upfront costs, indirect benefits, and concerns about privacy and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance. Obtaining paper records is a lengthy process, making continuity of care and emergency care challenging. Even when records are made available, it is common for information to be incomplete. The objective of this article is to highlight how the continued use of paper charts may decrease the quality and timeliness of psychiatric care provided and to discuss the psychiatry-specific issues created by EMRs. A case illustrating the disruption of care by continued use of paper charts in psychiatric facilities is presented. The growing use of EMR creates new challenges that affect psychiatry in ways other fields are not affected. These challenges include confidentiality issues, the frequent change/spectrum of diagnoses, determining how much information should be recorded in a note, and what the implications are of the information recorded. This article will discuss the use of EMRs in psychiatry, as well as encourage medical students and residents to take a deeper dive into psychiatry-specific issues regarding the use of EMR. EMR use may have a profound impact on our patient outcomes, health care delivery system, shorter inpatient stay, as well as reduce health care costs. Copyright © 2023 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.