2018-11-05

Why Doctors Hate Computers

To find Atul Gawande's New Yorker essay on "Why Doctors Hate Computers" in my morning newsfeed gives instant jolt. A worrying read.

We took care to capture and characterize clinician fears early in the Connect Care journey. Every one of those fears is explored by Dr Gawande. He gifts Connect Care with a potent reminder of our purpose... to enable better health with better information. Any informational process that gets in the way must be questioned.

The timing could not be better. As we work through the final months of essential clinical system design, our councils and committees navigate more and more demands for mandatory data entry during test ordering, procedural documentation and communications management.  Our Connect Care oversight has strong clinical input. Now more than ever, we need those clinicians present and focused. Their advocacy can keep sensible workflows front of mind while testing design decisions for prospect of making things better, not worse, for our busiest healthcare providers.

The essay is not a short read; but well worth the hour we gained falling back from daylight savings time yesterday. We'll return to each of Dr Gawande's challenges, hoping to avoid the more preventable clinical information system harms, especially those associated with imbalances between administrative and clinical purpose.

And we must invest like never before in preparing clinical communities with the information literacy, norms and professionalism needed for better information to improve both the provision and experience of health care.

Every additional click, screen element or data demand potentially puts Connect Care at risk. We must remember this and continually push for the simplest, leanest and most straightforward configuration possible. There will be ample time later to consider the many decision, documentation and inquiry supports that could make us grow to love Connect Care, if not computers.

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