Adding electronics to patient care

MC900353907Eighty to 90 percent of communication between humans is nonverbal — which means that healthcare providers could overlook important patient information if the provider’s focus is on the Electronic Medical Record computer screen. Body position, eye engagement, gestures and facial expression can provide important information when diagnosing patients, says Joyce Scarpinato, DNP, director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Upstate’s College of Nursing.

She recently spoke on campus about EMRs, urging providers to be mindful of the impact technology has on their provider-patient relationships and on daily personal communication. What are the ethical implication this technology has on the patient-provider relationship and our personal lives?

Research shows that EMRs can improve quality and safety. Scarpinato reports that studies are mixed about patient satisfaction. Some studies found that patients feel more involved in their own health care when the provider is using an EMR; however, others found that broken eye contact and a lack of face-to-face interaction (while the provider enters information into the EMR) decrease patient satisfaction. 

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One Response to Adding electronics to patient care

  1. M. B. Martin says:

    As an allied health professional, I am aware of EMR’s in both my use as a patient and professional.
    I recently was seen in an office where the nurse purposefuly made the effort to speak to my husband and I, and then do her record. The important thing is to remember not to turn you back to the patient. Thus preventing the patient’s emotions to escalate and cause them to feel insignifigant. In addition, the patient that has a hearing loss is at an increased disadvantage if not being addressed face on. By thanking our provider we reinforced a good habit, but we as pateints need to speak up and tell our providers our desires!!!!

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