Why does this physician’s EMR contain so many checkboxes? Because checkboxes create discrete data that can then be easily parsed for billing purposes (the main use) and potentially research. We have not figured out how to parse natural language in medical records for these purposes…yet. Hopefully, systems will be designed to accomplish this and physicians can return to more narrative notes.
The other important part:
I could see twice as many patients if I could write their notes at the bedside while visiting with them. I would happily do this using paper or an EHR that took the same amount of time, but these are not options.
EMRs need to be as fast and easy to use as paper, but that doesn’t mean it has to (or should) work like paper. We may have to change the format of our notes (i.e.–blowup the SOAP note) and adjust our workflows.