Would Patients Pony Up?
My physician is a master at getting to the point. So I turned the tables on him. "How come you don't have an EMR?" I wondered aloud. He grinned and said, "We have good reasons and bad reasons." Like most physicians, my internist's group practice is semi-automated, with a practice management computer system and paper charts. They have a barebones Web site (with links to, of all places, Dr. Koop.com of dot-com notoriety!), and under "contact us" reside phone numbers, not e-mail addresses. This kind of semi-automation has its downsides for patients. Reaching clinicians can be a frustrating exercise in phone tag. And those precarious, well-worn paper charts do not inspire confidence.