A personal experience came to mind as I read Charles Krauthammer’s May 29 column “Obamacare, e-records and dispirited doctors.”
As a neonatologist, I was often called to the delivery room to care for a newborn expected to have problems immediately after birth. The cold delivery room temperatures made the mothers uncomfortable and posed a threat to the newborns, especially if born prematurely. When I asked why the rooms were so cold, I was told, “so the obstetricians can be more comfortable.”
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with doctors being comfortable, as with familiar but antiquated medical records, but the priority should always be what’s best for the patient.
We should be ashamed of our country’s ranking No. 39 in the WHO survey of national health systems. One way in which we can begin to catch up to the rest of the civilized world is to perfect e-records, which could follow a patient seamlessly through our often-disjointed health system.
The Affordable Care Act, despite unremitting and continuing opposition, has taken on this problem.
Despite Krauthammer’s pessimism, doctors will adapt to this better system, and their patients will be the big winners!
Stephen R. Kandall