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World J Rheumatol. Mar 12, 2013; 3(1): 1-2
Published online Mar 12, 2013. doi: 10.5499/wjr.v3.i1.1
Cautionary note: Electronic medical records, a potential disaster in the making?
Bruce Rothschild
Bruce Rothschild, Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66066, United States
Author contributions: Rothschild B solely contributed to this article.
Correspondence to: Bruce Rothschild, MD, Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66066, United States. bmr@ku.edu
Telephone: +1-785-6151523 Fax: +1-785-5942691
Received: September 13, 2012
Revised: December 25, 2012
Accepted: January 29, 2013
Published online: March 12, 2013

Concern is expressed that electronic medical records may actually compromise care. Reports are electronically collated with patient charts, but when are they examined? Current electronic transmission of results to patients’ electronic medical records do not seem to notify of new information. The unknown time from prescription to patient action and the variable time required for individual test performance seem to mandate that a physician attempting to be conscientious would have to examine all sections of every patient medical record in their practice, every day. That is quite inefficient and error-prone. Electronic medical record still contains what appear to be dangerous “bugs” which compromise our ability to provide the care we believe our patients deserve? I remain unsure that outpatient electronic medical records are “ready for prime time.”

Keywords: Electronic medical records, Impediments to care, Laboratory results, Efficiency, Reports