When I first became involved with electronic health systems 12 years ago, the physicians who were pulled off paper fairly uniformly would have gone back to paper if they had been given the choice. We have made tremendous advances since then and most physicians now recognize the utility of electronic health records (EHR).However, despite the recognized advantages that digital innovations bring to healthcare, we are still challenged by the reality that we have increased burdens on providers. Clinical users often complain that finding the information they need is difficult because of the complexity and volume of data. The user interfaces are too often just plain ugly. The workflows often look like they were designed by the ghost of Fortran past. Our dependence on discrete data has often relegated clinicians to becoming highly paid data entry clerks.

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