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Why doctors hate their computers


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#1 golden_valley

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 12:32 PM

This long New Yorker article explores the impact of software on the day to day lives of doctors. I thought it was just me that has come to believe that doctors pay more attention to their screens than to me. It seems like doctors might feel the same. All the information obtained and stored is not as useful as one might think (except maybe for malpractice discovery purposes).

#2 Bact PhD

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 12:48 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 07 November 2018 - 12:32 PM, said:

This long New Yorker article explores the impact of software on the day to day lives of doctors. I thought it was just me that has come to believe that doctors pay more attention to their screens than to me. It seems like doctors might feel the same. All the information obtained and stored is not as useful as one might think (except maybe for malpractice discovery purposes).
Haven’t read the article yet, but it doesn’t surprise me. My eye doc in particular (granted, he’s gotta be about eighty) grouses profusely about his iPad every time I go in there.
However, a friend of mine (granted, late 50s) in a different specialty seems to have embraced the technology.
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#3 LFC

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 01:09 PM

I got part way through and hit the section about the patient benefits, something we've seen first hand for my wife who suffers from a chronic illness. I couldn't agree more. Yes, they need to get better at not eating doctors' time (better UX, assistants to do data entry, voice input, etc.) but having experienced the joy of watching my wife continue to suffer as multiple doctors floundered around or wanted yet another f***ing chest X-ray because they couldn't access the paper records or incompatible systems of other doctors all I can say is "suck it up, buttercup." Much like Obamacare we're far from perfect but way ahead of where we were.
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#4 Practical Girl

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 12:28 PM

I do think that age of the doc is a factor. My favorite neurologist (older/very experienced) basically retired in protest. I also think it matters with hierarchy- what is the specialty?

My primary care doc- she's got the computer through the whole thing. At certain points, she's sending necessary prescription renewals to my pharmacy. At all points, she's listening. But we make little eye contact.

My surgeons- latest and greatest, lol- completely different. Shoulder doc has an assistant who does all the transcription, while he looks directly at his patient. He gets to spend more "quality" time with his patients- evaluate their body movement etc. Pretty stunning, as I've seen the result. By the time I leave the exam room, it's all on his computer. He is able to check it with his staff, make sure follow-up is clear before I leave. Hip doc- even weirder. He has a transcriptionist from the Philippines, on a screen. But the same thing happens, at the end. Very efficient, cost-effective. I do keep in mind that these docs make a whole lot more money than a primary doc group- much harder for PC to afford.
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#5 George Rowell

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 09:13 PM

It is true that GP's mostly come across illnesses they can diagnose and treat successfully. But not always. The future physician will surely work in partnership with AI. Only AI can reliably take the patients record back to childhood and link in and identify rare diseases and syndromes using massive data bases. In my own case many doctors and specialists missed my symptoms over a whole lifetime and it was left to me to go online and search out my problem. I got the doctor to do the blood tests and confirm. The results have been nothing short of dramatic.

During my research I became aware how a range of similar symptoms can be ascribed to hundreds of different diseases. I say give the doc a break, get him on-line with AI. Make it mandatory.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#6 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 07:33 AM

Most of them aren't quite on with having an assistant drive the computer, but it makes sense even for a small primary care practice unless they are very good with a good MR app -- and most of them suck, having been designed by back-end bureaucrats rather than caregivers.

Also, alas, we let the EMR companies off the hook by not demanding standardized or at the very least interoperable records. Whether you know it or not, your records are kept in the same kinds of walled gardens that Facebook et al use to lock customers in -- except that in this case the stakes are a wee bit higher.
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#7 LFC

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 10:08 AM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 28 May 2019 - 07:33 AM, said:

Also, alas, we let the EMR companies off the hook by not demanding standardized or at the very least interoperable records. Whether you know it or not, your records are kept in the same kinds of walled gardens that Facebook et al use to lock customers in -- except that in this case the stakes are a wee bit higher.

This was an actual policy proposal by George W. that I agreed with. Classically, however, he failed to do much of anything to move it forward.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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