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It’s no surprise that patients prefer doctors who pay attention to them—but new data show that patients can feel they’re competing with computer screens for the physician’s focus, which can lead to concerns about the quality of care they’re receiving. A study by medical sociologist Richard Frankel, PhD of the Indiana University School of Medicine found that some doctors spend more than 80 percent of their time in exam rooms interacting with their computer instead of their patient. This may be especially concerning in the urgent care setting, where the provider is unlikely to know the patient, and the patient probably does not have the innate trust that comes from having a rich history with a physician. Frankel recommends using the acronym POISED (prepare, orient, information-gathering, share the screen, educate the patient using the computer, and debrief by using the computer as a teach-back tool) as a reminder of best practices for using devices while with a patient. He also recommends placing the computer in a place that doesn’t require the clinician to turn his back on the patient.

Clinicians: Don’t Let the EHR Distract You from the Patient
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