Why Doctors Hate their Computers

After reading “Why Doctors Hate their Computers” by the New Yorker my opinion on the topic has changed a bit. I’m sure everyone has gone to the doctors before and waited much longer than they were supposed to due to the doctor running late or some other issue. Leading many to believe that Doctors never run on time when you want them to, especially for your appointments. Now I can see why Doctors are late so often or overburden with the amount of data that they are required to enter in for each patient into a system that could be difficult for them to use on their own or are not the best at it. The whole piece was very interesting and enlightening honestly on the matter of new software for Doctors and the process of learning/switching over from a familiar one. One thing I found interesting was the hiring of scribes to start writing/doing most of the computer work for the doctors themselves to help “remedy” the inconvenience of doing so. The results from this were surprising as well with it actually being very effective but not solving the problem for the doctors themselves almost just beating around the bush. The tension between learning the new software and putting in all the information that they had previously been able to. What I mean by this is three nurses may write three different diagnoses for the same person in the system causing a mass confusion for the doctor. Or in other cases the system wouldn’t allow every detail that they wanted to add like they would do in a handwritten fashion. The lesson from the implementation of this system apply to almost any new system implementation throughout any workplace honestly. Speaking from a personal experience, at my Part Time Job at Lowes they introduced a new system called Sterling for the customer service desk. This system was to replace the old system of how internet orders were placed, tracked, and overall managed. Now I do not work customer service, I work over in the lawn and garden section but after hearing from coworkers and such I know how difficult it was for people to make the adjustment to sterling. The system was alien and overwhelming to all workers even those who knew and used it prior to our store. They all learned some tricks around it and finally learned to cope with it fine with occasional hiccups here and there. So a new software implementation issue isn’t just unique to medical care systems / work spaces. The real customers of the systems are those that have to use the system on a day to day basis, trying to get the most out of their own system even it means wrestling with it. Overall this article was very enjoyable to read while also shedding light onto new topics I had previously been unaware of.

 

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