Aug 24, 2018
So I know there is a lot of concern with the amount of work physicians have to do writing notes with the new EMRs and how more time is spent doing that then seeing patients. I have seen some specialties slowly adapt with templates, and simply reduced notes and it has slowly began to reduce the burden of note writing. This is especially the case in procedural specialties where most of the note is the same from case to case. As neurologists adapt to EMRs does it seem to be following a similar trend where its becoming less of a burden especially with some of the younger physicians? What have you found to help reduce the stress of constant note writing.


10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 13, 2009
Fellow [Any Field]
What I've observed in neurology is that the more templated and quick someone's notes tend to be, the less accurate and useful they are as well. It's to the point where when I get a referral from an outside neurologist and their exam is clearly templated with a couple of additions made, I can a) assume that most of that exam wasn't actually performed (as much tends to be inaccurate), and b) discard most of what they think in their assessment and plan as it tends to be nonsense.

Neurology is especially sensitive to the push and pull of efficiency vs quality because there just isn't a way to short circuit or automate the stepwise logic of working through a case and getting a detailed neurological exam. I've never seen a neurologist template their way out of more documentation time than they get themselves into using an EMR without being an objectively worse physician by doing so.
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5+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2013
New York City
Attending Physician
I would agree with OP. My efficiency has increased significantly with EMR. Honestly it takes me way less time to do notes compared to paper charting. Especially a lot of f/u notes take few minutes only. May be I am not fine tuning my notes, but I don't know how much that is worth it.

And Im not sure if bad notes= worse physician. Sure there might be some correlation and nothing beats writing everything for every patient, but that is really not practical.
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10+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2008
Attending Physician
While I do agree that templates decrease the quality of meaningful documentation when it comes to physical exam, etc. depending on your workload they are a necessary evil. At least for me, it makes documentation much faster. A hospital progress note may take a few minutes, and a consult note no longer than say 10. Because I know that the notes may be less accurate overall, I focus on having a good HPI and assessment. The rest is for the bean counters.

Also in the same vein, voice recognition software makes things much easier.
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