Anyone know how the transition to electronic health records is going?
I was wondering about that yesterday and remembered an experience I had at a hospital a few years back. Shortly after I checked in to see a new doctor the receptionist said that instead of me filling out patient forms, the nurse would type in my information with me. The nurse led me to a partially enclosed area that had a small desk along a short wall and a guest chair on the adjoining wall. I sat in the guest chair while she asked questions and typed in my info.
Two moments stick out. Number One:
Nurse: “Any history of cancer?”
Me: “Yes. I have neuroendocrine cancer.”
Nurse: “Oh. Okay.” She clicked on the cancer tab. “Oh. That’s not listed in this menu, right?”
Me: “Nope. Doesn’t look like it.”
Nurse: “Okay. I’ll just say you have colon cancer then.”
And, Number Two:
Nurse: “Are you allergic to any medications?”
Me: “Yes. Penicillin.”
Nurse: “Oh. P-A-N. Wait. It’s not coming up when I type it in. P-A-N-N. Oh. Wait. How do you spell that?”
What’s better for our health? Incomplete records with illegible-chicken-scratch doctors’ writing, or lovely electronic records that are typed up incorrectly? Computers are wonderful, but some human still has to enter the information.
I’ll look into the status of the shift to electronic records and will get back to you. Here’s hoping the system has improved!