Doctors Complain EHRs Destroy the Patient Encounter

Transcription provides the clear, cost-effective solution to the on-going crisis in healthcare documentation.

JOHNSON CITY, TN – EHRs continue to adversely affect the doctor-patient relationship, according to a new article published in Medscape.  The article (requires free membership with Medscape, click here), titled “Doctors are Talking: EHRs Destroy the Patient Encounter”, describes in detail the toll EHRs are taking on both physicians and patients.

The article cites three main physician gripes:

1. EHRs have made the patient encounter “far more annoying and complex than it ever was before.”

2. EHRs “make (physicians) feel like data entry clerks, with a computer telling them how to practice medicine.”

3. EHRs “erode the doctor-patient relationship by creating a barrier between the two.”

Scribes – A  Good, But Not Best, Solution

The article continues with a discussion of the pros and cons of using an in-office Scribe.  While some physicians favored the use of Scribes, others vehemently opposed it.  As one physician commented, “We have to hire a person to deal with the already expensive EHR.  At the end of the day, we are still worse off than before we had the EHR forced on us.”

Another physician added, “So adding another $25,000/year employee on top of the $80,000 for the EHR is the ‘happy’ solution?” a doctor asked. “I am not the government with unlimited money.”

MTSOs Are Offsite Scribes

In contrast to the more expensive approach of onsite scribes is the model of the offsite transcription vendor, which is a superior option for three key reasons:

1. Deep history and familiarity with the doctors’ and their clinical documentation preferences and style.

2. Strong expertise in medical language terminology and usage.

3. Significantly lower expense than onsite scribes, with no lost time for holidays or sick days.

EHR Vendors: Barrier or Facilitator? 

Despite the clear advantages of offsite transcription,  it cannot be implemented without the cooperation of EHR vendors, which are the gatekeepers for the implementation of the all-important interface for importing transcribed notes — or sections of notes — into the EHR’s patient record.  In many cases, interfaces remain expensive, non-standardized, and difficult to implement — all of which act as a deterrent to implementation.

“The high barriers to entry for getting an interface in place limits the options many physicians have regarding the clinical documentation workflow,” said Mark Christensen, CEO of WebChartMD.  “We’re asking EHR companies to join us in making it possible for physicians to choose the documentation modality best suited to them and their practice of patient care.  If physicians prefer some modality other than dictation, that’s their choice.  But if their preference is dictation and transcription, we’re asking EHR companies to remove the financial and technological barriers that restrict a physician’s ability to make that choice.”

For more information, or to dialogue further on this topic, contact Mark Christensen directly at or 1-423-343-5702.  

Medical Document Services of Kansas, LLC (MDS) is a Wichita, Kansas healthcare document service specializing in Medical Transcription, Revenue Cycle Management, AzaleaHealth EHR, and REAL-TIME solutions with Medical Scribes.   We provide efficient, accurate, affordable quality services for hospitals, clinics, and facilities of all sizes. Call 866-777-7264 today, or visit our website for more information.  We have education programs in Medical Scribe Specialists and Healthcare Documentation Specialists.