Journal Articles Review: The Use of Electronic Medical Records in Healthcare

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The use of electronic medical records in the reviewed studies.

Of the selected journal articles, four reviewed issues related to the use of an electronic device during the visit. The level of use was reviewed in two of studies which were selected because one dealt with high computer usage and the other with low usage. In the study with high utilization, the physician was observed to be using the computer upwards of 40% of the visit. The time when data entry occurred varied between the two studies. Sometimes the entry was done in the presence of the patient, other times it was done after the patient visit had concluded. In one occurrence, the information gathered by the physician was transcribed by a staff member at the physician’s office. The studies showed that data entry by the physician was seen as a cost saving measure for the physician’s office (Booth, Robinson, Kohannejad, 2004)(Ventres, Kooienga, Marlin, Vuckovic, Stewart, 2005)(Margalit et al, 2006)(Ventres et al, 2006).
One of the included studies found that computers were also used by the physician to manage the pace and direction of the communication during the visit. This was done in several ways. The computer was used by the physician in one of the included studies to break the communication with the patient in order to gather their thoughts about a particular topic (Ventres et al, 2005). In some studies when the use of EMR was extremely new, the computer based system was used to reinforce important points and lend credence to statements (Als, 1997). None of the papers selected for this review had similar findings. This could be because attitudes regarding computer use have changed since the time of this earlier study.
The effects of EMR use on doctor patient communi...

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...g used as a tool for the physician to communicate with their patient instead of as a device to create distance between them (Ventres et al, 2006)(Frankel et al, 2005). A surprising finding is that physicians surveyed about EMR use did not feel that patient doctor communication would be effected by the use of mobile computing options to display EMR instead of desktop computers (Ventres et al, 2006)(Frankel et al, 2005)(Bullard, Meurer, Colman, Holroyd, Rowe, 2004).
Physicians who used the electronic medical record as a checklist and verified the information with the patient as they recorded it were more likely to be thought of as good communicators by their patients. One of the reviewed articles described the development of a transcription methodology to enable the most efficient use of time with the patient by the physician (Gibson, Jenkings, Wilson, Purves, 2005).

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