And the Keyboard Goes Click, Click, Click

William Ventres


In this essay I discuss the use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) from three different points of view. These perspectives come from my experiences as a patient, family physician, and medical anthropologist. I briefly explore how health care practitioners repeatedly have been told that EHRs hold great promise to facilitate communication with patients. I note how EHRs have, at present, far from reached that promise: in general, health care practitioners have yet to integrate EHRs in ways that promote a shared therapeutic presence—the healing human connection that can emerge in clinical encounters—between them and their patients. I conclude by examining my own limitations in using the EHR and the mindful lesson I have learned in the process.


Electronic Health Records; Physician-Patient Relations; Physician's Role; Professionalism; Technology

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