Sometimes when we think about EMR, I think we forget about the subtle nuances of paper charts that make them so undesirable. Check out this story which I got in response to my post called “Think About the Problems with Paper Charting.” It’s a a good illustration of some of the more simple things we often forget about:
I was recently visiting a relative at a major teaching hospital in the Midwest. While in the hall I noticed that they had charts in binders stored in boxes affixed to the wall. Just as I was wondering why such a prestigious institution relied on paper charts a nurse went to re-insert a chart into its box. She was in a hurry and missed, the chart dropped to the floor and binder opened and paper went all over the hall. What was even more surreal was the nurse did not at fist notice her mistake and was at leas 6 feet away before she noticed it and fixed her error.
Sometimes it’s not what you get from an EMR, but what you don’t get that matters.