Electronic Records May Cut Down on Conversations With Patients

Could patients who have been treated for depression in the past be getting the shaft under the use of new electronic medical records? One study out of the University of Florida says yes.

According to a study cited in a recent article, researchers believe that physicians may not be taking the time to talk to patients about their past mental health because it is more time consuming to enter reports on the computer rather than chart the information on paper.

Some believe that since it takes more time to enter the reports, doctors are using that time to report rather than spend with their patients. They also believe it may have something to do with the layout of the software program, which may not issue prompts for mental health and tends to focus more on the physical health of their patients.

With these things in mind, there may need to be additional policies adopted to assure that depression problems get brought up in each visit. The study determined that patients who had depression in their previous medical history were less likely to receive medication or another form of treatment if a physician had used electronic medical records.

The idea of transferring medical facilities to using electronic records is supposed to be for the good of the patient. All medical history can be kept in one place so every doctor that would see each patient would have access to the same information and know what they’re treatment was in the past and their health history.

If this process is making it more cumbersome for medical professionals to enter the information and they choose to skimp on their regular healthcare conversations, then the process may end up failing more patients in the end.

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