Use of computers in an examination room clearly affects a clinical encounter, but it does not inevitably disrupt or undermine patient-physician communication, according to a new report from the American Medical Association.

For the most part, feared negative effects of an in-room electronic health record have not materialized, the report notes. “Technical improvements in EHRs that focus required computer tasks on activities that meaningfully influence patient outcomes, or that streamline data input and reduce the time needed to complete common tasks in clinical work and decrease the potential for distraction, will help minimize the possibility for disruption.”

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