Team-Based Clinical Documentation Could Free Physicians to Concentrate More on Patients

December 4, 2013 | Risk Management News

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Just as texting on a cell phone while driving has been shown to cause distractions that increase the risk of crashing, entering information into the patient record and other “texting” tasks could cause distractions that increase a physician’s risk of overlooking something during a patient encounter, posit the authors of an opinion piece published in the December 3, 2013, Annals of Internal Medicine. According to the article, many physicians feel that having to concentrate not only on the patient but also on typing the history, checking boxes, performing order entry, checking labs, and other electronic tasks requires an exhausting level of  multitasking and necessitates chronic hypervigilance to stay in the “present” with the patient. One factor driving this need, states the article, is Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stage 2 meaningful use criteria, which require physicians to type in orders so that they can view clinical decision support reminders.

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