Psychiatry and the meaningful use of electronic health records

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Use of electronic health records (EHRs) for psychiatric care is on the rise, although the software and the workflow patterns on which the software has been built are often based on non-psychiatric practices. For providers, the transition from paper psychiatric records to electronic ones requires the development of a new set of skills that includes accommodating the physical presence of the computer and performing various forms of data entry, while still managing to carry out the tasks required for psychiatric practice. These changes alter the dynamic of communication, including elements of assessment and treatment that occur between the psychiatrist and patient. EHRs also raise issues of security of records and greater access by patients to providers and their records. Although EHRs promise an abundance of useful data for research and potentially helpful innovations, they also impose a practice pattern on psychiatry that is made to work largely through the efforts of the physician. EHRs do not enhance interactions in the psychiatric examination room, but instead alter the traditional pattern on which the doctor-patient relationship is founded in psychiatry and through which care is delivered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-421
Number of pages15
JournalPerspectives in biology and medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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