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Dr. David Blumenthal was the national coordinator for promoting electronic health records (EHR) from 2009 to 2011.  In addition to the upfront economic challenges surrounding EHR adoption, he emphasizes that ergonomics has also been a bottleneck (James Fallows, “The Paper Cure” The Atlantic, April 2014, pp. 26–28):

Most physicians’ offices, and I’ve been in a lot of them, are set up so that when the physician looks at the screen, he or she can’t look at the patient.  Often they have their back to the patient.  That is because no one has given a lot of thought to how to maximize the ergonomic quality of inserting this technology into the office.” (p. 28)

The customer experience falls on a continuum.  Exactly where it falls is based on design.  When the ergonomics of a new technology are not adequately accommodated, then the customer experience will suffer.  This represents a barrier to universal EHR adoption.

When a patient visits a healthcare provider, that patient usually has many serious concerns.  Examination-room ergonomics should not be one of them.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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