The impact of electronic medical records on patient-doctor communication during consultation: A narrative literature review

Aviv Shachak*, Shmuel Reis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rationale, aims and objective The effect of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) use on Patient-Doctor Communication (PDC) has rarely been studied. As data accumulate, the purpose of this article is to review the literature on EMR effect on PDC, to identify recurring themes and to offer preliminary guidelines and future directions for medical education and research. Method A database search was conducted and 14 articles that met inclusion criteria (published in the past 10 years, empirical investigations, direct assessment of the EMR impact on patient-doctor communication) were selected for review. A qualitative, grounded theory-like approach was employed to analyse the data. Results EMR use often has a positive impact on information exchange, but exerts a negative influence on patient centredness. Some physician characteristics such as their computer skills and behavioural style assist in overcoming this negative influence. Conclusion The use of EMR exerts both positive and negative impacts on physician-patient relationships. The negative impacts can be overcome by some simple means as well as better designs of EMR systems and medical education interventions. Physicians' everyday practices of integrating EMR use into the clinical encounter as well as better design of EMR systems and EMR and communication training may facilitate PDC in computerized settings.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)641-649
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Clinical encounter
  • Electronic medical record
  • Literature review
  • Patient centredness
  • Patient-doctor communication
  • Qualitative research

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