In response to reader comments on David Burda's "Reporter's notebook: EHRs put some docs on edge":
The responses of Jo Kriynovich and Sylvia Landry, regarding doctors' participation in electronic health-record development and training, have some validity but also reveal frustration and a lack of appreciation for other views.
As a longtime practicing internist, now involved in developing and training physicians on hospital information systems, I understand both viewpoints. Physicians do have different schedules, coverage arrangements and needs; however, they must also be held accountable for their own learning. It is exasperating to invite physicians to participate or train, arranging times in consideration of their schedules, only to have a significant number miss a meeting or class without notification (and not usually because they are busy saving lives). Yet, to be successful with EHRs requires that we meet physicians halfwaysometimes going to them, scheduling multiple times and dates, etc.
Doctors are not a homogeneous group; but in general, they have more demands on their time than other healthcare workers. Some react self-importantly, by considering their time more valuable than others'but many do get involved with EHR development, help with training and often serve as physician champions. And in confronting major changes such as EHRs, physicians go through the Kubler-Ross stages like everyone else: denial, anger, bargaining, depression andhopefullyacceptance.
Change management requires us to deal with all groupsthe early adopters, the majority, the laggards and even the resisters. Our strategy should be one that gets physicians to the point of recognizing the ultimate benefitsto their patients and themselvesof implementing a high-quality EHR system.
Paul McKenney, M.D.Associate vice president of medical affairsKent HospitalWarwick, R.I. To submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here. Please include your name, title and hometown.