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AMA Offers Guidance for Improving EHR Effectiveness

FRIDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates has voted for policies to help physicians navigate patient interaction while using electronic devices and to improve the interoperability of electronic health records (EHRs).

Delegates at the AMA Annual Meeting discussed concerns relating to EHRs, specifically regarding the impact of EHRs on patient communication and the interoperability of systems.

The delegates approved a policy designed to help physicians navigate patient interactions while using computers and EHRs. The policy encourages physicians to ask questions while using electronic devices and to survey patients regarding their satisfaction about use of electronic devices during examinations. In addition, to facilitate communication between independent physicians and hospitals or those in other communities, the delegates voted to push for greater EHR interoperability and software standardization.

"Our board report looked at the effect of electronic health records on interactions between patients and physicians and found that the perspective and skills physicians bring to using computers determines whether the response to their introduction in the exam room will be positive or negative," AMA Board Chair Steven J. Stack, M.D., said in a statement. "We look forward to gathering more information to help physicians best incorporate this new technology into their interactions with patients."

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