Computers Mean Time: How better coding practices have hurt medicine


Computers Mean Time: How
better coding practices have hurt medicine


Greater numbers of physicians
are complaining about time constraints in their practices and a work-life
balance that’s out of sync. And maybe it’s a problem everyone is having—keeping
up with the demands of modern society with all of its trappings and bustle. As
technology advances, its applications advance as well, which seems to be a
benefit. However, what is often overlooked in positive analyses of implementing
technology is the time-cost. Updating practices and implementing system changes
can take learning a lot of new skills as well as be time-consuming. So, for
physicians struggling to balance work and the rest of their lives it can become
an intensely taxing experience keeping your practice up-to-date with newer tech
as well as maintaining digital records.

Started in the 1970s at the
Department of Veteran Affairs, the EHR enables physicians to receive higher
payments for treatment when meeting the “meaningful use” criteria set by the
2009 HITECH Act. Close to ninety percent of doctors in the US use an EHR
system, spending on average 4.5 hours a day logging data and notes there
1. This is a huge and time-consuming process that has been
shown to reduce quality of patient care
leads to burnout
3, and
decreases collaboration between healthcare practitioners







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