Warner Todd Huston
Illinois: Beloved doctor benched for not being proficient with electronic medical records system
FacebookTwitterGoogle+
By Warner Todd Huston
October 26, 2011

A popular, longtime Doctor from central Illinois has been sidelined by employer Springfield-based Memorial Health System because he has not become proficient with the electronic medical records system that they purchased and implemented. Patients are so incensed that they've started a Facebook page as well as a blog to rally to his defense.

This situation brings into focus the problem of top-down medical solutions, calling into question the efficacy of healthcare by committee, not to mention Obmacare itself. Do we really want to sacrifice good doctors in favor of good followers of top-down rules? Do we want good users of computers or excellent doctors?

The doctor, Steven Kottemann, 63, was placed on paid administrative leave in September because they felt he was not properly utilizing the new electronic medical records system that his employer, Family Medical Center, instituted.

Kotteman initially tried to upload verbal recordings of his notes made when meeting with patients, but the system failed to accept the recordings. The only other option was to type in by hand all his patient notes. Kottemann tried to input the notes while actually with his patients but eventually came to feel that typing at a computer while trying to give care to his patients was not conducive to good care.

Dr. Kottemann then began staying late after office hours to type in all the notes but due to a stroke of his own the effort became too much for him.

"It got to the point where I was going in seven days a week to keep up," Kottemann told the State-Register newspaper.

For its part, the employer says that Kottemann's lack of proficiency with the computer system was not the only reason they fired him but Memorial Medical Center refused to comment further on this story when I contacted them.

Kottemann's patients, though, are not as reluctant to comment. His patients have become incensed that their favorite doctor has been fired merely because he doesn't meet administrator's expectations for computer savvy.

They started a blog to come to his aid. There blog one patient praised Dr. Kottemann saying, "I don't need a 15 min Dr, or a computer whiz... I need a doctor that cares about me and my family. I have that in Dr. Kottemann."

There are other equally laudatory entries.

Kottemann is now afraid to say much about this incident because lawyers are involved, so he demurred fro offering a comment for this story.

But the upshot of this whole thing is that good care seems to be being sacrificed to push electronic medical records systems. This is happening across the country, too. We have hospital administrators driving hard to implement Obama's medical records solution — such as the one called EPIC Systems being pushed by his medical records czar, Judith Faulkner. And in so doing they are acing out excellent doctors whose only deficit is that they are not proficient with the new records technology.

Are we really willing to stand by as Obama's representatives bully those good doctors that criticize these electronic medical records systems? Are we willing to sacrifice good doctors for merely competent computer jockeys?

© Warner Todd Huston

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston's thoughtful commentary, sometimes irreverent often historically based, is featured on many websites... (more)

More by this author

 

Stephen Stone
'The fervent prayer of the righteous'

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
Busted: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Madeline Crabb
Puppets, prostitutes, and pimps – Part Five

Rev. Austin Miles
Biden qualifies for impeachment!

Michael Bresciani
Equality Act: The most demonically inspired bill in U.S. history

Judie Brown
The Church MUST respond; Biden’s FDA gives mail-order abortion the green light

Cliff Kincaid
The Unabomber and other transgender pioneers

Curtis Dahlgren
The 13th grade: It's killing us

Steve A. Stone
The Fourth Horseman

Rev. Mark H. Creech
It's still a big deal, and for me it's personal

Judie Brown
Disassembling childhood

Michael Bresciani
Morality from our corporations: Are the fumbling feckless fiduciaries issuing new commandments?

Jerry Newcombe
The Sabbath—a gift from God

Tabitha Korol
Epilogue to a friendship
  More columns

Cartoons


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons

RSS feeds

News:
Columns:

Columnists

Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites