In the technology section of the WSJ there is an article on "Getting Docs to Use PCs". They are just talking about EMRs or electronic medical records. The piece explains how hard the hospitals are pushing to get doctors trained in this area. As much as they try, however, there is still some resistance by physicians. It seems some docs don't want to look like idiots during the training sessions but the real story is when they explain why the EMR is so important. Hospitals are "aiming to get a slice of the government's $27 billion in incentives". Training docs is "crucial to get federal incentive payments, which require that care providers 'meaningfully use' the systems". No where does it say that EMRs are there to help patients. No where is that proven. This, along with the bullsh%t P4P garbage, is being done only for money.
I use an EMR. I like it. I now am trapped in a whirlpool of numbers where the clicks never end and the measurements never stop. I have been duped. The EMR in its basic form is good but it has become a Trojan Horse to let hospitals, insurers and the government spy on my work without proof that what they are measuring does any good. The tail is wagging the dog. Doctors are just pawns in this and are unable to fight back because we just want to treat patients and because we are wussies. As the last line in the article says, the attitude from computer trained docs to newbies was to "Buck up! We did it." In other words, resistance is futile. This, my friends, is called learned indifference and we physicians deserve what we get for being so passive.