Computers in the clinic

by reestheskin on 30/01/2014

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“A full 14 minutes into the 20-minute appointment, I realized that the patient sitting in front of me in the exam room was softly crying, her hands cradling the box of tissues that she had searched out herself. I had spent the majority of the appointment engaged in a frantic search through her extensive electronic medical record, and I cursed myself for being so buried in the computer screen that I had hardly glanced in her direction. Mrs. S had end-stage cancer, and my misguided chart review had revealed countless studies, medical therapies, and procedures that had done little to change her very poor prognosis. I turned the computer monitor off, wheeled my chair over, and gently took her hand. With five minutes left in the appointment, I discovered the real reason she had come to see me.”

William Bynum in Academic Medicine [Issue: Volume 89(2), February 2014, p 212–214]

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