Staying Connected: Eight Tips for Mindful Office Visits With an EHR


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A few simple changes can help you focus on your patient instead of your EHR.

Fam Pract Manag. 2015 Sep-Oct;22(5):56.

Author disclosure: no relevant financial affiliations disclosed.

Much has been written on the benefits of using an electronic health record (EHR). However, if you are like many physicians, those benefits have not been fully realized because of the difficulty of incorporating an EHR into the office visit. Over the years, I have found the following tips helpful in alleviating the frustrations of providing patient care in a technologic world and recapturing some of the joy of interacting with patients.

1. Focus on the patient when you enter the exam room. Avoid looking at your computer or typing as soon as you enter the room. Instead, look at your patient, say hello, and engage in a little small talk. Make a comment that acknowledges you see your patient – e.g., “I see you've lost weight.”

2. Get the chief complaint from the patient, not the EHR. Although it is helpful to review the reason why the patient is there, as recorded in the EHR, let the patient tell you his or her concerns. Instead of saying, “I see you are here for a sore throat,” ask “What brings you in today?”

3. Know when to put away the keyboard. In the paper chart world, we

About the Author

Dr. Jardim is medical director of Delaware Valley Family Health Center, Hunterdon Family Medicine Residency, in Flemington, N.J.

Author disclosure: no relevant financial affiliations disclosed.


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