Wall Street Journal: Turn off technology, listen to patients: 4 takeaways

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In a recent column The Wall Street Journal claims one of the biggest travesties facing the medical industry today is the deterioration of the patient-doctor relationship.

Here's what you should know.

1. As the health system enters into the age of automation, technology is creating a barrier between patients and providers.

2. Lower primary care appointment times where physicians primarily type records into computers instead of interacting with patients and a 2013 study that shows John Hopkins first-year physicians spend only eight minutes a day with hospitalized patients while they spend hours documenting their days at computers are evidence for the declining patient interaction.

3. Electronic health records, specifically coding and meaningful use requirements, are the reasons for the disconnect.

"Senior physicians are retiring early because of the EHR, while young doctors feel the humanity draining from a profession to which many were drawn because of a desire to interact and connect with people," the columnists argue

4. Although computers are a necessity in healthcare, they shouldn't deter doctors from practicing medicine and interacting with patients.

"Medical practices should be allowed to turn off the ‘meaningful use’ software prompts and return to the job of taking care of real people," the columnists write.

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