Many family practice colleagues have been complaining of the increased time they spend using EMRs, mainly entering data and reviewing incoming data. One experienced GP said that before the advent of EMRs he left the office at 5:30 p.m. daily. Now he leaves closer to 7:00 p.m.

In addition, patients have been complaining about the lack of eye contact and time spent on physical examinations during a visit to their GP.

So it is with interest that I note an article and an editorial from the December 2016 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, which show that for every hour of direct face time spent with a patient (and I suspect much of that time is actually spent with the doctor looking at the computer), physicians spent nearly 2 hours on EMRs.[1,2]

What can and should be done to retain and encourage a good patient-doctor relationship before Google Doc becomes the norm?
—Robert Love, MD


1.    Sinsky C, Colligan L, Li l, et al. Allocation of physician time in ambulatory practice: A time and motion study in 4 specialties. Ann Intern Med 2016;165:753-760.
2.    Hingle S. Electronic health records: An unfulfilled promise and a call to action. Ann Intern Med 2016;165:818-819.

Robert Love, MD. EMRs. BCMJ, Vol. 59, No. 1, January, February, 2017, Page(s) 10 - Letters.

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