Health care is the world’s most information intensive industry. It is also plagued by uneven quality, frequent errors and rapidly accelerating costs.
The logical conclusion is to computerize everything that doctors and nurses do.
The evidence indicates that with computers care is better and safer.
Unfortunately, our efforts at computerizing everything is not working.
Many doctors are not happy with computerized systems which add more work to their already heavy schedules.
Doctors focusing on the screen and not the patient dehumanizes the experience for the patient. Ask the patient.
Many healthcare systems are poorly designed from a useability perspective with time consuming and repetitive data entry, needless alerts and poor work flows.
Mistakes still occur with computerized systems. Many false alerts dull the sense of awareness.
The gurus in this field conclude that changes in the way that doctors and nurses work will most likely be the key factor in improving performance and reducing errors.
Healthcare needs new ways to build and encourage team work. There must be seamless sharing of data between different systems. Not yet feasible.
Another need is for software developers to work closely with clinicians to redesign work flows in healthcare and then produce software that is Apple-like in its simplicity and functionality. Thank you Steven Jobs.
This is called user-centered design. It has been used in other industries such as aviation.
Once the software system developers make software that we can’t live without, then we will have entered the next era of healthcare.
reference: Why Health Care Tech Is Still So Bad, Robert Wachter, New York Times, March 22, 2015.