While physicians and medical practices are eligible for federal grants to institute electronic health records, not everyone is convinced that it will make for a better medical practice. Dr. Dwalia S. South, North Mississippi Primary Care in Ripley, who has been transitioning to EHRs in the past six months, describes it as one of the most painful experiences of her life.
“I wish I had retired or been six feet under before computerized health records,” South said.
“I think more older doctors want to get out of medicine because of that than anything else. It is a painful process. Ultimately, it may a good thing. But, right now it is hard to see the good in it because it takes me away from hands-on with patients. It almost makes me a virtual doctor. I walk in the room and am focused on getting info into the computer. Right or wrong, it has to be down or you don’t get paid.
“I talked to a doctor last week who said he is not going to do it. He said he doesn’t want to quit practicing because he likes practicing, but he is not going to dance to their tune.”