Electronic Medical Records: Structured vs Non-Structured Data

See on Scoop.ithealthcare technology

Have you ever wished that instead of choosing a single answer on a multiple choice exam you could write an essay instead to show how you are thinking about the question?


As a health services researcher, I rely on digital data for my work. Yet as a clinician I railed against it, as many clinicians continue to do today. Is the answer to abandon all electronic pursuits? Of course not. But I am baffled by the attitude that it is clinicians’ duty to adapt to the digital way of thinking rather than the other way around. There does not seem to be a recognition that the purpose and meaning of a clinical record is different to a clinician from what it is to a researcher or a policy maker. Yet the current EMR development seems to focus on the latter two constituencies virtually ignoring the clinical setting. Given our vastly improved computing capabilities over the last decade, why does a clinician still have to think like a computer? Moreover, if medicine is indeed a mix of art and science, do we really want our doctors to fit strictly into the digital model?


I believe that it is a lazy way out for developers. They are the ones that need to step up and create an electronic record that does not gratuitously disrupt the clinical encounter. This record needs to fit the work flow of clinical medicine like a glove. We cannot wait for some miracle to come along and magically transform our sick healthcare system. Today’s EMR will not succeed unless it takes into account the art of medicine. The narrative parts of the record must be preserved and enriched by patient collaboration, not eliminated in the interest of easy bean counting. Because several smart people tell us that “not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” It’s time to pay attention.

See on healthworkscollective.com


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