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Subject:  Re: OT: Career crisis Date:  10/20/2005  3:42 PM
Author:  JAFO31 Number:  212912 of 312188

rosietomato: "Oh dear, oh dear xraymed! What is the stumbling block in doing the EMR? I feel like I'm part of the problem (as opposed to solution) as I've been trying to work with military MDs to push so that they capture everything electronically so that we can better understand, statistically, war injuries."

For xraymd it is the particular software her employer has chosen.

It is all about the interface? Why did Windows GUI replace DOS?

In order to make EMR work, the software designers need to meet with doctors (probably from each speciality) in order to design an interface that works in the way that most doctors work. What is a very elegant inteface from a designer's/coder's perspective may be useless if makes the docs struggle to enter information in the maner and form it is collected.

I see this in my legal practice, where software designed for litigators often has no used for transactional lawyers; in addition, even within the transactional world, I have seen software for corporate lawyers that is not particularly useful for real estate attorneys or trust & estates attorneys, because the practices are so different.

Really well written softwares conforms to the practices of the end users and makes their life easier. Poorly written software not only does not conform, but trys to force the end user into changes its practices to what the software designer decides is appropriate, regardless of what the end user thinks or wants.

One of my former employers paid a not insignificant amount (low 5 figures) to have some custom software written when it could not find any commercial software that readily accomplished what we wished to accomplish. All the end users were interviewed and allowed to describe required fields and functions, which were then integrated. Even after several years of use, complaints were minimal except for the cheap calendar function which counted calendar days well, but could not calculate business days.

Just my $0.02.

Regards, JAFO

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