Modern Physician reports that "The pull-down menus, alerts and point-of-care information contained in computerized clinical decision-support systems [CDSS] can distract physicians from their face-to-face encounters and leave patients feeling ignored and dissatisfied with their care." This comes from a study at the University of Missouri at Columbia that evaluated patient perceptions of doctors using digital diagnostic tools.
"Get over it!" is the first thing that comes to mind. Would you begrudge your mechanic hooking up your car to the diagnostic computer and scrutinizing the bars and gauges and charts on the screen? The physician has to use tools, just like everyone else, to achieve peak performance in treating patients. Personally, I'd rather see the back of his head researching my complaint to take advantage of every inspiration and precaution, than to look at a smiling face telling me "Shucks, I don't know, let's try some drugs!"
The time has come for us as patients to embrace the new technology, just as we insist that our doctors do the best job possible in our behalf, and to get used to some changes in the doctor-patient relationship.