Letter from the Editor

This month's issue considers EHRs, wayfinding apps, physician ratings website, and more.


If you're feeling bogged down by all the boxes and tabs you have to click in your electronic health record, don't worry, things will get better. That was the main message of the clinical and technical experts I spoke to for this month's story about improving EHRs. The story looks at why EHRs frustrate physicians and what is being done to potentially remedy these issues. A sidebar offers some actionable steps that physicians can take to try to help fix the problems themselves.

Continuing the focus on technology, another article in this issue looks at apps that help patients (and sometimes staff) find their way around the hospital. Known as wayfinding, this field is rapidly advancing thanks to smartphones and related tools. This month's Q&A and Success Story are also tech-related. In the Q&A, a researcher who has studied online physician ratings evaluates the current state of rating systems and offers some predictions for the future. The Success Story describes how one hospital provides translation services for patients who aren't fluent in English even when translators aren't available onsite.

Unfortunately, technology can't fix the problem of unbefriended patients. Our story looks at the challenge of making medical decisions for patients without the capacity to do so themselves or any obvious surrogate decision makers. Experts describe how to handle such situations and how to help patients avoid becoming unbefriended in the first place.

On the clinical side, we have an article about poststroke seizures, which explains how having had a stroke increases the risk for epilepsy but also can make it more difficult to identify and diagnose a seizure. And this month's Brief Case is a collection of cases from individual submitters, covering a wide range of diagnoses. Join their club by submitting your own case.

Sincerely,
Stacey Butterfield
Editor-in-Chief