Physicians spending 27% of their time seeing patients and 49% of their time doing paperwork.

Paperwork is a plague in the practice of medicine.  And it is very, very difficult to get physicians to give up their pens for a computer.  And then an even worse curse, the doctor spends more time looking at a computer screen than he does examining the patient.   The digital “paperwork” problem is addressed in a recent report at Forbes.com 

The answer to this growing problem which can lead to physician burnout is to hire scribes to follow the doctor from exam room to exam room entering all the data into a computer.  A double scribe system works best when combined with a check sheet that runs through a head-to-toe exam.  About 80% of exams are boiler plate and don’t require anything more than the doctor’s signature.  But the use of scribes is not widely embraced in medicine even though practice consultants have recommended them for decades.  Franziska Shepard of Santa Maria, California pioneered a medical chart-writing system in use today, but not adopted widely.  [Santa Maria Times]

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