Healthcare 2007: The paper blizzard persists

The Discussion

  • User profile image
    Dengin

    I have also undergone the procedure you mentioned, despite my youthful age, and I remember saying I was doing just fine after the procedure was over and walking straight into an electricity closet instead of the exit. That's why they say you should have someone drive you.

    Anyway, I think in order for technology to permeate more fully throughout the healthcare industry, it should be spoon-fed into the newest generations of doctors. When they learn their profession using the new tools, they are equipped to practice with the new tools. That, of course, does not address the existing practices and procedures, and that's a tough nut to crack. Hospitals are generally not well-funded, so an investment into technology must first and foremost show a cost savings aspect. I do believe there is a huge opportunity and incentive for hardware and software vendors to work together to create a standard solution for healthcare. This is, after all, affecting human lives directly.

  • User profile image
    Dengin

    I have also undergone the procedure you mentioned, despite my youthful age, and I remember saying I was doing just fine after the procedure was over and walking straight into an electricity closet instead of the exit. That's why they say you should have someone drive you.

    Anyway, I think in order for technology to permeate more fully throughout the healthcare industry, it should be spoon-fed into the newest generations of doctors. When they learn their profession using the new tools, they are equipped to practice with the new tools. That, of course, does not address the existing practices and procedures, and that's a tough nut to crack. Hospitals are generally not well-funded, so an investment into technology must first and foremost show a cost savings aspect. I do believe there is a huge opportunity and incentive for hardware and software vendors to work together to create a standard solution for healthcare. This is, after all, affecting human lives directly.

  • User profile image
    Bill Crounse, MD

    Thanks for your comments.  Unfortunately, many of today's medical students and residents are not being exposed to the most contemporary IT solutions during their training years despite the fact that nearly all of them grew up with computers. Sometimes this is because of funding deficiencies in our academic healthcare institutions, but often it is due to medical school deans and faculty so entrenched in "tradition" and doing things the way they've always been done that they inhibit the introduction of new information technologies in patient care.

    After the passage of more than 20 years, I visited my own medical school not long ago thinking that I would observe vast changes in the technologies being used by young clinicians in training.  Yes, I saw laptops in the lecture halls for note-taking or research on the Internet.  There were also computerized kiosks for certain administrative functions. Some students had even designed their own specialized Pocket PC or Palm applications to assist in work on the wards.  But up on the patient care floors it was pretty much business as usual; lots of paper forms and antiquated work-flow processes.  It really hadn't changed that much.

    We can and must do better to improve the quality and safety of patient care and the satisfaction of those who provide and receive that care.  And, we absolutely, positively must do better to train the next generation of clinicians using the most contemporary information technologies and devices available.

    Bill Crounse, MD      Healthcare Industry Director           Microsoft 

  • User profile image
    Bill Crounse, MD

    Thanks for your comments.  Unfortunately, many of today's medical students and residents are not being exposed to the most contemporary IT solutions during their training years despite the fact that nearly all of them grew up with computers. Sometimes this is because of funding deficiencies in our academic healthcare institutions, but often it is due to medical school deans and faculty so entrenched in "tradition" and doing things the way they've always been done that they inhibit the introduction of new information technologies in patient care.

    After the passage of more than 20 years, I visited my own medical school not long ago thinking that I would observe vast changes in the technologies being used by young clinicians in training.  Yes, I saw laptops in the lecture halls for note-taking or research on the Internet.  There were also computerized kiosks for certain administrative functions. Some students had even designed their own specialized Pocket PC or Palm applications to assist in work on the wards.  But up on the patient care floors it was pretty much business as usual; lots of paper forms and antiquated work-flow processes.  It really hadn't changed that much.

    We can and must do better to improve the quality and safety of patient care and the satisfaction of those who provide and receive that care.  And, we absolutely, positively must do better to train the next generation of clinicians using the most contemporary information technologies and devices available.

    Bill Crounse, MD      Healthcare Industry Director           Microsoft 

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