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Subject:  Re: OT: Career crisis Date:  10/16/2005  5:10 PM
Author:  xraymd Number:  212654 of 312945

Greetings, Fuskie, some further thoughts:

Technology has made digital records more reliable (no chance for a nurse being unable to read the dr's writing).

I think I would actually say here that technology has made digital records more LEGIBLE. If the data capture is incomplete, it is no better than an incomplete handwritten record. It's just prettier.

In every other aspect of your profession, you are expected to keep up with new treatments, new medical discoveries, even new technologies and diagnosis tools. Consider this digital diagnosis tracking system as one of those things. Anywhere you go, you will probably come across the same trend. Even worse, unless you come to terms with the issue, you may turn down a great opportunity because they will expect you to walk down the same path as the current employer.

Absolutely true. I am required to have no fewer than 20 hours of CME (continuing medical education) per year to continue to validate my medical license. I certainly agree that electronic documentation is not just coming; it is here to stay. But what I'd like to see is the development of systems that are more sensitive to how to input and process information in a way that truly helps, not fights, a busy physician. What I've said before is that we need the medical equivalent of Xerox PARC - that old think tank from the 1970s which resulted in some of the more innovative of computer userface solutions, many of which found their way into Apple technologies. The guys who staffed PARC really took usability seriously. On the Physicians and Other Professionals board, I read of a homegrown user interface that Adenovir touted which was customized to his requirements for caring for preemies and critcally ill neonates. I am CERTAIN that a similar system could be invented that is customized to the needs of an internist who sees 25-40 patients a day which would enhance the capture of crucial information. But that's not the system I am working under. If relocation were no barrier, I would literally LOVE to go to work on the problem of user interface design and usability testing (I just don't think this effort is taking place in Tucson but I am looking into it). One of the quotes I remember from Xerox PARC was the idea of a software "appliance" - much like one's toaster or telephone is an appliance. It is a technology that so much SIMPLIFIES a task that one hardly knows that there is in fact an interface involved. Get me that level of ease of use and I am so there!


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