May 2004 Table of Contents


Evaluating the efficiencies of technology

FREE PREVIEW Log in or buy this issue to read the full article. AAFP members and paid subscribers get free access to all articles. Subscribe now.

FREE PREVIEW Subscribe or buy this issue. AAFP members and paid subscribers get free access to all articles.

Fam Pract Manag. 2004 May;11(5):22.

To the Editor:

I have an engineering background and usually think that technology is terrific, but as “Rediscovering the Paper Planner” [March 2004, page 100] demonstrates, it has its limitations. I had a personal digital assistant (PDA) for a few years. It was a wonderful gadget – when it was working! I had to send it back for repairs twice and lost considerable data in the process. I have now gone back to a paper planner and am much more efficient. I am able to get to information much faster and enter it more quickly with the paper planner than with the PDA.

I believe that the same thing will occur with electronic medical records (EMRs). EMRs seem like the answer to everything, but we will all find out that they are actually costly and inefficient. As a solo physician in a rural area, I cannot afford to purchase and maintain an EMR system, and I cannot afford the extra time spent on record keeping. I would rather be caring for my patients. I believe that EMRs should not be mandated for everyone, but they should be a choice for those who have extra money and time. Technology is not always the best option for everyone.


Send your comments to Submission of a letter will be construed as granting AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. We cannot respond to all letters we receive. Those chosen for publication will be edited for length and style.

Copyright © 2004 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions

Article Tools

  • Print page
  • Share this page

CME Quiz

Information From Industry