Friday, January 17, 2014

Clinical Summary

If having to use the EMR is not bad enough, we now have to provide each patient a printed out summary of the visit before we leave.  Given we are a tertiary referral center and each patient comes with multiple records, films and studies there is no way that we can go through everything and as soon as they leave the exam room hand them a summary without it being totally useless.  Too make matter worse, patients now come to their consults with their clinical summaries from other doctors thinking these things actually help.  Yesterday a patient come in with a handful of these, one of them simply said "in order to comply with Federal Regulation, this is a clinical summary of your visit.  We saw you as a patient on this date.  These tentative diagnosis were discussed but they were not confirmed."

We have now told patients that they are more than welcome to wait for their clinical summaries, it may be until very late at night until we can personally talk to their referring doctors and review all of their studies.  Invariably, they leave before then.