Episode 006: “Doc, I'm Over Here, That's Just a Computer Screen.” Why Don't Electronic Health Records Help with Dr. Ken Fisher

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Episode 006: “Doc, I’m Over Here, That’s Just a Computer Screen.” Why Don’t Electronic Health Records Help with Dr. Ken Fisher

Electronic health records (EHRs) were supposed to revolutionize the way we practice medicine. They were going to improve efficiency, reduce errors, and radically change we take care of patients. EHRs have managed just one of those goals – radically change the way we take care of patients – but not in a good way. As people taking care of patients we spend more time clicking, typing, and searching for critical information than we do in laying on of hands and talking to those who are ill.

How did this happen? Computers and electronic record systems have made many aspects of our economy so much better. We can order food online, carry maps in our pockets to never get lost (unless you’re a new teenage driver), and efficiently order products to minimize waste. But few of these benefits present themselves in hospitals despite billion dollar efforts to computerize everything.

Dr. Ken Fisher joins me as we try to get to the bottom of why we have these clunky EHR systems and why they don’t work as advertised. How did they come to pass and why is the market for EHRs dominated by so few products.

As the author of a popular book titled Understanding Health Care: A Historical Perspective, we also get sidetracked to discuss ways to improve upon the delivery of health care in general. Specifically, we discuss HSAs and Medicaid spending.

Dr. Fisher is a nephrologist in Kalamazoo, MI who has run multiple residency and fellowship programs and has been published both in scientific journals and the lay press.

Dr. Ken Fisher, Author of Understanding Health Care: A Historical Perspective

show notes

Understanding Healthcare: a historical perspective

Freedom in Healthcare: A website with links to alternative places (other than Amazon) for finding his book.

EHR: An Ill Conceived Idea: Article from Medical Economics about EHRs.

Why Your Doctor’s Computer is so Clunky: Wall Street Journal article referred to in the episode.

Episode 002: How Direct Primary Care Direct Primary Care Made Me Love Medicine Again with Dr. Belen Amat

Episode 004: A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Direct Primary Care Practice with Dr. Chad Savage

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