Tired of watching your doctor or nurse practitioner typing away on the computer while you are in the exam room?  Are you tired of long waits in the emergency room?  You may be surprised that your frustrations and annoyance with the need to use an electronic health record (EHR) is shared by physicians and other health care personnel as well.  It is one of the most common reasons cited for physician burn out. 

The EHR has been shown to increase the frustration of the day for most physicians, who also feel they have insufficient time to complete their records and are frequently faced with added time at home to complete records after a busy work day.  Having to complete an electronic health record note, and the delays in care this causes, were found to have the highest prevalence among emergency physicians.

It was not so long ago that physicians would write their notes, which took considerably less time.  The EHR often generates pages of notes, which have limited bearing on the care of the patient.  Often times the EHR is just collecting information for institutional billing purposes. Once again, government is at the core of the issue.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) was established in 2004, and subsequently legislatively mandated in 2009, to “improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities through the use of technology and health information that is accessible where and when it matters most”. Are we being helped?