“One of the things I want to talk more about is, ‘What can a well-designed, well-implemented EMR do for the doctor?’” said Dr. Ator, who is also the chief medical informatics officer (CMIO) for the University of Kansas Health System. “I think that’s one of the things that we in this business have not thought about,” he added.
In fact, Dr. Ator thinks EMR has gotten a bad rap. To be sure, the fits and starts of nascent systems have caused myriad issues for otolaryngologists and other specialists. But as vendors have improved, systems have been upgraded. The promise of EMRs—more efficient workflow, improved patient care, even increased patient safety—is still worthwhile, Dr. Ator said.
“The core concept in informatics is that a computer plus a person is better than the person alone,” Dr. Ator said. “That’s really a fairly complex topic, because that includes concepts such as human-machine interface …[but] assuming that’s all done right, the computer can be, not an intrusive thing, but something that helps the doctor be better.”