Bedside manner in the days of EHR

For both seasoned health practitioners and newbies born with smartphones in their hands, the challenge is to still provide a sense of humanity while augmenting productivity with electronics.

Last week, in Electronic health records changing the character of the family doctor , I wrote about how the character of patient care has changed since our old country doctor has started keeping electronic records.

For both seasoned health practitioners and newbies born with smartphones in their hands, the challenge is to still provide a sense of humanity while augmenting productivity with electronics.

The $47 billion Kaiser Permanente managed healthcare company has even gone so far as to develop a training methodology for EHR etiquette. It's designed to teach practitioners how to both use electronic tools and be aware there's a patient in the room.

Called LEVEL, it has five steps:

  • L -- Let the patient look on
  • E -- Eye contact
  • V -- Value the computer
  • E -- Explain what you’re doing
  • L -- Log off
While it may seem kind of silly to have to use acronyms to explain basic courtesy to adult medical practitioners, we see how mobile technology monopolizes everyone's attention to the point of rudeness on almost a daily basis.

It's no different in the hospital or clinic. People need to be retrained (or trained in the first place) on how to practice common courtesy where bright, shiny screens are involved.

There's a helpful video put out by Dr. Larry Garber, a Massachusetts-based internist, that can help you understand the LEVEL system in more depth.

Feel free to share this article with your favorite medical practitioner or country doctor, especially if they've succumbed to Bright Shiny Screen Syndrome.

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