The medical world is shifting from paper medical charts, to electronic medical records (EMR for shorthand). The government is pushing EMR to attempt to improve health care to reduce medical malpractice through lessening medication errors, and prompting doctors and nurses to practice safe medicine. Tucson, Arizona hospitals and doctors are in the midst of this transition.
Doctors, for the most part, are not in favor of this shift. Instead of talking directly with their patients, they have to now interface with a computer to check boxes and fill in blanks. This makes their visits with their patients less personal and less productive.
In addition to efforts to reduce medical malpractice, one main reason behind this push to move to EMR is control. The hospitals and insurance companies can exercise direct control over a doctor through the EMR system. It is simple, they just remove a box that allows a doctor to order an expensive test or medicine. This, without any fuss or recourse, forces a doctor to make another, less expensive, choice about treatment for his patient. This is one of the real, dangerous reasons why the government is pushing for EMR so strongly. Beware and be forewarned.