Electronic Notetaking – The Concern of many Physiotherapists

Published by cathalmalone@hotmail.com on

The world is heading in one direction and it is one based around technology. Modern healthcare has increased the implementation of technology within many areas of day to day patient care; however it is also apparent that its overall use is still lagging behind many other industries. The overall use of electronic note taking systems has been found to be less than 15% within Orthopaedic clinics in the US, with the primary reason being that most clinicians felt that the right type of electronic notes system is not yet available.

Paper notes hold a familiarity to most clinicians and many feel that this is the simplest and best way to record a patient’s medical history. However, paper notes come with many draw backs. They are cumbersome and costly to store, easily misplaced or lost, information is timely to record, hand writing is frequently illegible and countless hours of administration time is lost to organising files for clinics. Important clinical data can also be difficult to obtain from lengthy medical notes and analysis of service provision is troublesome.

Although paper notes come with many drawbacks, many clinicians have strong opinions that the use of computers hinder their daily tasks rather than enhance their day to day workings. Many feel that current healthcare software packages are inefficient and do not provide the necessary tools to effectively complete their clinical roles. The transition for many clinicians from pen and paper to electronic note taking is also a daunting prospect as many do not possess strong typing skills. Implementing electronic note taking software into healthcare has been shown to create inefficiencies in service delivery (Rotherham NHS trust) as clinicians struggled to complete their assessments in their allotted time due to their lack of typing skills. Such negative views will be hard to change and with the inevitable increase of computer use within healthcare indicates that future software development must consider the needs of its primary users.

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