NCMS Board of Directors Debates How Best To Help With EMRs

At its May 18 meeting, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Board of Directors discussed at length the challenges, costs and efficacy of using Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and what the Society might offer members in the way of relief from what is often seen as an unreasonable burden. Earlier surveys of our membership have revealed that dealing with EMRs is a leading cause of burnout among physicians and physician assistants.

“We are the only profession where the most highly trained people are doing data entry,” said Michelle Jones, MD, an at-large member. Dr. Jones shared that she hired a scribe to help her input information into the EMR at her practice. “That’s off my bottom line. I shouldn’t have to pay for that. The technology is there. The money is just not there.”

Many of the Board members acknowledged that EMRs are not going to disappear. As Jeff Runge, MD, FACEP, the region 2 representative to the Board, offered: “I don’t know how you unscrew it when it’s already screwed.”

Philip Brown, Jr., MD, the region 1 representative, and the Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Executive at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, said he has learned through working with physicians at New Hanover that “the more physician input you have, the closer you get” to an EMR that actually benefits patients and physicians.

The Board directed staff to investigate what other medical societies throughout the country are doing to address this issue for their members, and to survey our membership on their insights in order to come up with a viable action plan. Watch for the NCMS Snapshot survey on June 6, which will address this topic, and please share your thoughts. The information will be presented to the Board at its next meeting on July 14.


Share this Post


1 Comment