Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A wolf in the sheep's pasture

We had a lawyer giving medical grand rounds today.
It had a malpractice flavor to it. It was about some of the medico legal pitfalls with our adoption of an electronic medical record (EMR).

Normally, the doctors are the sheep sitting in the courtroom den and the lawyers playing the part of the wolf. It was the reverse today.

I'm going to stay true to my promise to be succinct. (I could rant a lot about today's talk. Some of it is on twitter!)

There wasn't any substance to the talk. It was basically "be careful of this " , "don't do that " , "you have to be able to defend this."

Ultimately, the verdict was this. Despite the EMR being a major advance in how we provide care (my opinion), it's opened up a myriad of holes that our legal system can take advantage of to find fault in our care for patients.

I can cite numerous examples of how ridiculous this train of thought is. I can identify the hypocrisy in many of the examples this lawyer cited. But I'm not building a case. Perhaps if I was a lawyer, I could create an elegant argument against today's grand rounds in the hopes of changing the minds of the powers that be.

I'm just a doctor.
I'm just a primary care physician.
I don't have time to be a lawyer. I'm too busy taking care of sick people.

I can only only operate within the confines of our legal system. I can only continue to advocate for a future of medicine that is not constrained by our legal system and continues to leverage technology to improve the health care system.


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