Dr. Whitecoat, who works in a hospital emergency room, points out the extraordinary administrative complexities of computerized health care records, now mandated under Obamacare. Here's an excerpt.
I set out to log the clicks and screens. The first few times I tried, I wasn’t able to do it. Finally, when it wasn’t so busy, I made a conscious effort to stop on every screen and mark down clicks and screens. I use some basic templates, so the amount of clicking that I do is actually less than someone who doesn’t use templates.
For a patient with an upper respiratory infection (i.e. a cough) and no labs, the total number of clicks was 37 and the total number of screens I had to navigate was 17. I also had to enter my system ID and password twice. All these screens and clicks were in addition to all of the information I had to enter by typing.
For a patient with a wrist fracture who needed medications and a splint, I clicked on 52 different variables and had to navigate 41 screens – in addition to the information I typed. On this patient, I had to enter my system ID and password four times. Many of the screens that popped up contributed to alert fatigue, asking me why I was ordering Norco on someone who already uses Norco and forcing me to acknowledge the duplicate medication order and then explain why I was doing it (because the patient hadn’t used the Norco in 3 months and didn’t have any more). I was not allowed to proceed with the patient care until I answered the questions.
The final patient I attempted to log clicks and screens on was a patient with chest pain. I was able to keep things going up until the time the patient was ready to be admitted. Then I had to quit the logging as it was taking too long and a bunch of new patients showed up. Just entering the history, the exam, and the orders amounted to 62 clicks and 27 screens plus 2 episodes of ID/password entry. Admission order entry and result entry were significantly more clicks and screens.
Next time that you wonder why your doctor or nurse always seems to be on the computer, chances are that it isn’t because they’re checking Facebook.
Think about how long it would take you to navigate to 41 different web sites and enter information on each one before being able to complete your work. Oh, and if you accidentally enter incorrect information on any one of the 41 web sites, you could be subject to a federal investigation for overbilling, have to pay for an attorney to defend you, and could be sued for triple damages. That’s what we go through with just about every patient we see.
Makes you happy that the government is pushing all medical providers into electronic medical records, doesn’t it? I know I feel safe realizing that my medical providers spend more time entering information on their computers than they do providing me with medical care.
There's more at the link.
Dr. Whitecoat links to an article by Mickey Kaus, which goes into further detail about such administrative overhead under Obamacare. A third article claims that 'Obamacare Increases Unnecessary Medical Tests, Wastes Doctors’ Time, Drives Up Billings And Costs'. It's no wonder my own physician told me recently that if Obamacare remains in effect, by the end of the President's second term he'll either be bankrupt, or have left the practice of medicine in disgust!
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the act about which Nancy Pelosi notoriously said, "But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it". Now that we know what's in it, Ms. Pelosi, would you please take the damn thing back and junk it?