Losing Story in Lists

Epic software for electronic medical charts captures threads of patient information, but fails at weaving them together, writes primary care physician Suzanne Koven in a punchy op-ed.

“Epic is not well-suited to communicating a patient’s complex experience or a physician’s interpretation of that experience as it evolves over time, which is to say: Epic is not built to tell a story,” Koven writes.

Based on her experience, a medical record that abandons narrative in favor of a list does more than dehumanize patients—it hampers a clinician’s diagnostic abilities. Imagine telling Cinderella’s story Epic-style, she says. “The problem list would include: Poverty, Soot Inhalation, Overwork and Lost Slipper.”


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