I appreciate all these thoughtful responses to my essay--thank you! I've been fascinated to see (via email and social media) how it has resonated in many countries, among various specialties, and with young as well as older clinicians. I had thought mostly older primary care doctors who remember a less administratively encumbered era would relate. My question is whether we are working hard enough to challenge the assumption that the data we are so busily collecting is worth the time and attention it diverts from our patients. How can we reclaim what we and our patients value most--human interaction? When I hear about scribes, headsets, voice recognition, and other tools meant to limit the intrusion of data collection on patient care, I ask: why do we have to accommodate at all? It's a simple matter of triage: time and energy spent on entering data for billing and population management is time and energy not spent on patient care. Even if the data is objectively worthwhile, it may not be worth what we and our patients lose in obtaining it. I'd love us to spend less effort figuring out how to work around the current requirements and more effort challenging those requirements.But how?
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