Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Garbage In, Garbage Out.  Just as a judge, doctor, or pilot can be inexperienced or just not competent, so can a computer systems or application designer.

I just read in ANGIENADIA's Kevin MD article, about monetary carrots and sticks and medical documentation problems.  She gives this description of a required electronic record posting:

Because advanced care planning slots in the electronic medical records were inadequate, undescriptive and user-unfriendly, I recorded my patients’ wishes in free text. To reflexively participate in our clinic proxy-form sweep stake, I would spend time transferring my free-text work into slots of electronic zeros and ones that count for money. 

The doctor goes on to remind us that the extra posting time was wasted and could not be spent on patient care. 

Though I'm no computer genius, I managed to use ACad and Photoshop in class.  

But when it came to my Digestive Health doc's  "portal," fifteen minutes in a do-loop (or was it a don't loop) round and round with no information and no chance to add questions made me determine not to go there again.  Ever.

In acute spine rehab, one of my meds disappeared from the computer, which was being manned by someone from another department.  (If I hadn't been awake, I wouldn't have known that I  would never again get that medication.)  I grew tense while she went again and again to get help with each medicine I needed before lights out.

Systems that will result in our accurate care and hopefully continued life must be easy to use, accurate, and free of moves that only a computer athlete can use successfully.

As patients, we must, must give strong feedback to hospitals and medical offices when we have trouble with portals and especially when we see that problems with electronic systems adversely affect our care.

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