A recent Twitter conversation put us in mind of the Royal College of Physicians Health Informatics Unit's 10th anniversary celebration at which we observed this: "One not to be named (except perhaps for a fee) attendee drew a picture of a brontosaur on his notepad as the President of the RCP was rounding up and expressing his concerns about clinicians' ability to enter data into computers whilst in the demanding setting of the consultation or ward round"
That the not-to-be named individual was of a younger generation might be guessed as might the fact that they are embedded in DoH IT initiatives - it might be more surprising to discover that they have a background in emergency medical care... without disclosing more, let's just say this guy ought to know what he's talking about so how can his viewpoint be so radically different from our recent Twitter interlocutor from the States whose blog hosts a ten-point list of problems with Healthcare Information Technology.
This analysis comes from someone whose experience also ought to lend them some claim to authority: "based upon more than 40 years experience in patient care, teaching, administration and research. That is ... experience in a cross spectrum of patient care from primary care to tertiary care and quaternary care ... from primary prevention to treatment ... from home to hospital ... treatment of some of the sickest patients in the nation."
So what's the deal here - is it a generational thing? Is it a US vs UK thing (the UK has some advantages in having a single National Health Service)? Is it hope vs experience? Or, as we think is it rather the fact that the observations that our US friend makes hit the right issues but that our UK dino-drawer is more optimistic that we are already addressing and overcoming these problems?
The ten points are as follows - for the real detail on each see the blog - we want to know what you think about each of these, are they US problems, are they non-problems, or are they still hurdles to overcome?:
1. Interface: Too Cumbersome and too much time is used interacting with computers.
2. Data Entry: Too Cumbersome
3. Data Sharing: Too Cumbersome because proprietary systems don't talk to each other.
4. Security: Inadequate & related to #3 above
5. Ease of USE: Non existent
6. Time dedicated to machine: Excessive
7. Redundancy: Inadequate [this relates to back-up in case of power-outage etc.]
8. Reliability: Inadequate
9. Comprehensiveness: Inadequate
10. Flexibility: Minimal
Let us know your thoughts...