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Harvard Health Blog
Physicians, paperwork, and paying attention to patients
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
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Monique, I LOVE this article and feel the same way. When the industry starts recognizing the expertise that lies with the patient, we can begin to talk about real engagement.
How does this activity differ from what physicians were doing 30 years ago when there were no automated medical records and everything had to be dictated and transcribed? Every job has paper work. I was a consultant and I hated all the paper work I had to do. I understand that the comparison lacks the urgency and importance of what a physician does versus what a consultant does. But the point I am trying to make is that rather than boohooing it, spend all that mental energy in problem solving to find accommodations – e.g., have patients fill out their own online medications update, etc., etc. I do have multiple medical issues and my PCP works very hard to address everything while showing concern and attention (which he does very well!). I’m not meaning to be harsh, just trying to encourage problem solving.
Absolutely, would love to find solutions here. The electronic medical records unfortunately demand much more time than the old-fashioned paper charts. They are much more useful, but oh, so tedious.
Great post with valuable information.
All so true, and if a teaching hospital
is involved, one talks to an intern, physician is briefed (sometimes just outside of door and patient overhears!), rushes in, barely speaks to patient, checks computer, proceeds to type, riffles chart and talks more to intern than exasperated patient. Seems to proscribe same Bp and statin drug to all, especially if patient is over sixty; does not seem to know beta blockers and calcium channel inhibitors cannot be taken together and will cause serious side effects mimicking Alzheimer’s and or ALS. Referrals are immediately made “I can’t do everything” –seven minutes reduced to probably three. ” Make appointment for twenty minute physical” is advice! I have tried for four months to get that much time, meanwhile being set to three doctors who seemed to wonder why I was there. Tests ordered, some each visit, while obvious problem not addressed! I had wonderful care during child and adulthood, but as senior no one will listen or pay attention. I feel sorry for these doctors, and understand the changes in treatment and records pressuring them, but my health issues are not being properly addressed. I apparently need a young patient advocate to speak for me. Patients are suffering as much or more than their doctors. Entire medical care system needs to be changed.
Hi Sherry, I am so sorry for the terrible experience you are having! It may be worth it to see if you can switch to a different office. I agree with you, you should have more thoughtful physicians, and more time with them.
great share for great services.. thanks
Very true, and what is even more disgusting is that most of the things we write are not meant to be read but cover our back in case of need. And then everybody is mocking us for poor handwriting!
Yes, I agree, defensive medicine is a real thing.
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