A nurse speaks out against bad EMR software

Every Thursday, the Chicago Tribune’s “Play” section runs a little feature called “Love/Hate.” The paper picks three or four things that readers love and three or four things that readers hate. This week, EMRs entered the picture. This appeared in the “I hate …” category:

… being a slave to computer programs to document my care as a nurse. It’s so ridiculously time-consuming.

— Sheila Young, Orland Park

That must be one terrible EMR—or perhaps a hodgepodge of disconnected legacy systems—if Young not only considers herself a slave to the computer programs, but feels compelled to share her disdain for the technology with a light-hearted feature section of the local newspaper. That’s quite a statement against the quality of the system design?

On further inspection, it could be a function of not wanting to change old habits. According to Illinois state records, the only Sheila Young from Orland Park who’s a registered nurse (indeed, the only Sheila Young in the whole state with an active RN license) was first licensed in 1967. That means she’s been in nursing practice for at least 44 years. Old habits die hard.

Ms. Young, if you happen to read this, please contact me. I’d love to get the whole story.