Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why aren't Indian doctors better organised ?

One of the commonest complaints patients have about doctors is that they do not remember anything about them. For many doctors, the patient is just another number - and patients are often fed up that they have to repeat their medical history all over again every time they visit their doctor - even if it has just been a few days.

One of the reasons for this is that Indian doctors are notoriously poor at keeping medical records. At the end of a visit, most just write down a prescription - they do not even bother to document the clinical examination findings or their tentative diagnosis !

This is why they often have to "start from scratch" every time they see a patient ( unless they are blessed with a phenomenal memory).

The truth is that most Indian doctors see a large number of patients daily. Also, many will travel from hospital to hospital and clinic to clinic, which means they really don't have a well-organised mechanism for keeping and storing the patients' medical records.

This poor organisation hurts both doctor and patient. The best solution is for doctors to use an electronic medical record ( EMR) system on their laptop - but the older generation of doctors is still very computer-phobic ! Hopefully the new breed will use computers extensively - not only to improve the quality of the medical care they provide to their patients , but also to make their own life a lot easier !

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