Chester County Medicine Winter 2020 - 6

www.CHESTERCMS.org

PR E S I DE NT'S M E SSAG E

EMR- A PROMISE
NOT KEPT
BY: DR. BRUCE A. COLLEY
PRESIDENT OF CHESTER COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY

W

inter greetings to all. It is my sincere wish that everyone's holiday season
was enjoyable and that everyone has a safe, memorable and wonderful new
year lived in good health. Our winter Journal features many informative
and interesting articles which I'm certain you'll enjoy.
A few reminders to physicians: please continue to submit articles or essays; Chester
County Medical Society meeting dates and times are on our website, www.chestercms.org;
all are welcome to attend meetings; the joint CCMS-Chester County Hospital Medical
Staff sponsored "discussion group-scrum" meeting will be held the last Thursday of the
month at 6:30 PM at the Community Volunteers in Medicine building. Please come and
share your experience, concerns and ideas with your colleagues.

D r. B r u c e A . C o l l e y

My topic for the winter issue is electronic medical records (EMRs). Obviously
a vast topic that could span several editions, but I will offer just a few thoughts that
hopefully will stimulate some feedback by our readers. (Yes, this is an invitation to send a
letter to the editor!) Several years ago a colleague of mine, in a moment of frustration, as
we were both working on charts in the physicians' lounge, exclaimed to me (as he knew
I was the editor of the Journal), "You need to write an article and entitle it: 'EMR - The
Great Lie'."!
His Solzhenitszen-like statement, though a bit harsh, does sum up all our frustrations
with the many EMR systems we use. Another reason I chose to write a few words on this
topic is that I recently read a poll that shows that currently, nearly half of U.S. physicians
are considering changing careers or retiring from practice. The reason: 80% pointed to
their massive frustration with the EMR system they are using.
The promise of faster, cleaner and more accurate medical records with universal
availability, and interoperability among systems, never evolved. Our current systems
instead are fragmented, with little to no communication or interoperability among these
proprietary electronic islands. My goodness, our local hospital ER physicians at Chester
County, Paoli and Brandywine cannot even access each other's information. As a result,
hundreds of tests are repeated yearly at great expense, which we all pay. Instead of EMR
becoming more flexible, intuitive and efficient they remain quirky, counter intuitive,
rigid, slow and immutable. The answers from our IT departments, 99% of the time,

6 CHESTER COUNT Y Medicine | WINTER 2020


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Chester County Medicine Winter 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Chester County Medicine Winter 2020

Chester County Medicine Winter 2020 - 1
Chester County Medicine Winter 2020 - 2
Chester County Medicine Winter 2020 - 3
Chester County Medicine Winter 2020 - 4
Chester County Medicine Winter 2020 - 5
Chester County Medicine Winter 2020 - 6
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