A recent Consumer Reports report shows that a growing number of doctors are ditching pen and paper for good and going entirely electronic. The survey of 660 physicians found that 37 percent exclusively use electronic records, up from 24 percent in 2007. Additionally, about one in four of the 49,007 Consumer Reports subscribers polled said their physicians used a computer or a hand-held device, and 22 percent reported they employed a combination of paper and electronic record-keeping.
An accompanying article gives a solid overview of the various ways doctors are using technology to enhance their practices. But it also reminds us that slick software and gizmos aren’t a cure-all:
…Even when you can find one, switching to a more technologically savvy physician or group won’t necessarily translate into better care. “Infrastructure is really important, but it does not substitute for a trusting relationship between a patient and a physician,” [Ronald Epstein, M.D., director of the Center for Communication and Disparities Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center] says.