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Comment & Response |

Administrative Overload as a Cause of Diagnostic Error—Reply

David Newman-Toker, MD, PhD1; Martin A. Makary, MD, MPH2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
2Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(20):1927. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.9734.
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In Reply We thank Dr Volpintesta for pointing out that increasing administrative tasks contribute to diagnostic error. Forms and computer systems that are clunky and overly time consuming are burdens that prevent us from doing our primary job as physicians—taking care of patients.1 Research studies have affirmed what many recognize to be common sense—focusing on several tasks at once means less concentration on each task. Physicians know the risks of distractions.2 At the core of user-unfriendly documentation and billing systems is a fundamental detachment of those developing the systems and those using them on the front lines of health care.

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November 11, 2013
Edward Volpintesta, MD
1Bethel Medical Group, Bethel, Connecticut
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(20):1927. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.9743.
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