"I've had patients who have left their previous doctor because they said that in a 15-minute appointment the doctor spend 10 minutes typing," says William Blazey, DO, in an article entitled "Can the Doctor-Patient Relationship Survive?" in Medical Economics.
Blazey says time demands required by electronic health records can cut into quality care. Another challenge, he notes, is the coordination of care among specialists.
"As a primary care doc, one of the cornerstones of what I try to do with my patients is coordinate their care among specialists, especially if it's a cancer diagnosis or something else that requires multiple specialists," says Blazey. "Often I find that patients will see a specialist and then forget who they saw so they can't relay back to me the testing they had done."
Blazey says that trust and knowledge about the patient are essential ingredients for maintaining a healthy doctor-patient relationship.
"When you have that longitudinal relationship with the person, you start to understand them and know the best way to reach them," he says.