The Truth About Electronic Medical Records


June 18, 2014
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Propaganda only works for so long. Pretty soon truth catches up to it. This is exactly what’s happening with electronic health records.
If you’re a doctor you know how bad the government-mandated electronic health record (EHR) is. But if you’re a patient, you may not realize that EHRs are endangering your life and jeopardizing medical excellence.
The EHR is nothing like what Big Government, Big Data, and Big Health said it would be. They promised convenience, coordinated care, fewer medical errors, more efficient medical practice, and access to your medical record from anywhere. They never meant it and it hasn’t happened. These data systems were created for billing, data collection and government control of doctors, not patient care.
Arthur Allen at POLITICO Pro eHealth says government-imposed EHRs are:
  • Driving doctors to distraction
  • Igniting nurse protests
  • Crushing hospitals under debt
“In short,” he writes, “the current generation of electronic health records has about as many fans in medicine as Barack Obama at a tea party convention.”
Doctors forced to use these EHRs say:
  • “They slow us down and distract us from taking care of patients.”
  • “We’re basically key-punch operators, transcriptionists having to input the data ourselves. It has essentially tripled the time to complete a medical record.”
  • “That’s why I’m retiring.”
  • “Before I took notes, wrote what I wanted to say. Now I write and I click. If you just click, the person who reads the record gets no idea of what the patient was going through, your thought process.
  • “Anything that in a normal world would take at most two clicks, here it takes four or five.”
Proponents falsely promised privacy. The real goal of Big Government, Big Data and Big Health was NO privacy. Data is valued as a tool of control and a means to profit. And today, 2.2 million entities today have legal access to your medical records without your consent because of the so-called HIPAA “privacy rule” and the 2009 HITECH Act. In addition, untold numbers of computer thieves, identity thieves and hackers have illegal access.
Every doctor and hospital must use EHRs by January 1, 2015 or face financial penalties. This was part of Obama’s 2009 Recovery Act, and the foundation of Obamacare. The sheer cost of the mandate has forced many doctors to shut down private clinics and become health system employees, susceptible to being told by outsiders how to practice medicine.
The arrogance of some EHR supporters is unpardonable. Bob Kocher helped write Obamacare, was trained as a doctor and is employed as a Venrock venture capitalist in health IT, but his credentials are those of a bureaucrat and profiteer. Per Politico pro eHealth, he says, “The reason so many [computers] are inefficient is that doctors are inefficient. If they redesigned their workflows, computers would work better.”
In other words, Mr. Kocher wants doctors to practice according to the computer systems he helped impose, not the doctor’s patients. We must never let his agenda for medical practice prevail. State legislatures must act now to restore patient privacy rights and use Tenth Amendment powers to undo the EHR mandate.
Working to sustain an ethical patient-doctor relationship,
Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder