1. Thede, Linda Q. PhD

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I read with interest the February letter to the editor by Shawn P. regarding "Advocating for HIT That Captures Nursing Process" (Viewpoint, November 2019). Although I have been a great fan of the possible benefits of electronic health records (EHRs), I agree wholeheartedly with Shawn that EHRs were co-opted by the financial end of health care. This is not to disparage the importance of capturing expenses. We who work in health care know that money is important-we like to be paid and we don't want the agency for which we work to go bankrupt. But must we allow the definition of health care to be data derived by defining who pays for what?


To truly represent health care, free text is needed. Unfortunately, in today's world data is king. The problem is how to translate free text to data. Would it be possible to adapt one of the software products used in qualitative research to accomplish this aim? Doing so appropriately would require clinicians, whose understanding of health care is greater than those who have not been on the front lines, to be the driving force in implementation. In my opinion, the result would be an improvement in health care and reduction of overall costs.


Linda Q. Thede, PhD


Matthews, NC