Electronic Health Records (EHR) Hurts Doctors? This Argument is a Fail, Much Like Alabama’s refusal to expand Medicaid.
A recent video complains that electronic health records (EHR) mandated by the ACA hurts doctors. But, in reality EHR improves healthcare drastically.
The the video Mo Brooks complains that having to keep digital records (EHR) and use a common coding system (ICD 10) is expensive and is slowing down doctors and costing them unaffordable amounts of money. It’s so bad that doctors are quitting.
The thing is, that as we move into 2015 the idea that all of our medical records are in paper folders and need to be faxed around to all our healthcare providers is insane. Keeping a uniform digital system means that when you show up in an out-of-state emergency room the people treating you know everything they need to know instantly, it means when you see a new doctor you aren’t playing scavenger hunt and missing important medical records, it means using our technology to advance healthcare delivery and improve efficiency.
Yes, this new system costs money (about $50,000 over 5 years to implement and support, not $100,000 upfront as suggested in the video). Yes, this system takes extra time… but we argue the ends really do justify the means.
I recently saw a doctor for a check-up, using “my ObamaCare insurance”. The schedule was booked so I waited a little longer for an appointment then I had in the past and when I was in the office it took about 5 more minutes then i’d expected due to the new system. So this much is true, but subtract from this the major pains both I and my docs have had over the years faxing papers back and forth and missing vital information that had even in the past resulted in inaccurate diagnosis. A little time upfront, saves a lot of time moving forward and more importantly leads to better healthcare for all of us.
Mo should focus on his state, rather than try to score points by attacking the ACA. Alabama refused to expand Medicaid and have seen the second lowest decline in uninsured in the country at only -0.53%. Maybe docs would have had more patients to treat if Alabama’s leaders supported reform, perhaps this would have offset the extra time and costs necessary for joining the rest of us here the future where we use technology for the purposes of improving patient care.