Therapeutic myopia and the EMR

“Therapeutic myopia” is the term coined in this insightful post for one of the drawbacks of the EMRs as currently used. If you are a clinician, you should print this and give it to your leadership and management to read, and send a link to your IT department.  If you are a patient, you should print this and bring it to you providers and tell them it really concerns you, and ask them how they cope with this risk.

“Medical charts—particularly in psychiatry—are living documents...EMRs are far more restrictive...sterile, bland, just a series of “check-ins”...probably more info somewhere... but it (is) too difficult and non-intuitive to access.  Hence, the practice (adopted by most clinicians) of just opening up the patient’s most recent note—and that’s it...a therapeutic myopia that may change how we practice medicine.  EMRs, when used this way, are here-and-now.  They have become the medical equivalent of Facebook.  When I log on to the EMR, I see my patient’s most recent note—a “status update,” so to speak—but not much else.  It takes time and effort to search through a patient’s profile for more relevant historical info—and that’s if you know where to look."

Sad, frightening, and true. Do read the full post. 



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