Health IT: It Will Take Some Adjustment

By August 27, 2007Health Care, Innovation

Today’s Baltimore Sun features a page one story on the increasing use of information technology in hospitals, with pictures of a pill-delivering robot and wireless-connected computer tablets to update patient records.

The thesis of the story is that health IT can bring much-needed efficiencies but it takes some time for people using it — nurses, especially — to adjust, and they complain that the electronic gizmos take away from patient care. Also, the younger generation of medical personnel seem more welcoming. For example:

Hopkins nurse Monica Wilt, 31, is deft as she logs into a prescription-ordering system, pulling up a list of her patients to see who needs medication.

She loves the software. “For people really familiar with computers, this is all very intuitive,” she said.

Colleague Rosmond Lynch, who has 23 years of nursing experience, was not so quick to embrace changes. “At first I was scared and anxious. It seemed easier to glance at papers than the computer,” Lynch said. But with training and support, Lynch said she welcomed technology as an aid rather than a hindrance.

Just seems like a case of human nature, resistance to change. The need for efficiency and quality patient care will win out in the end.

Anyway, good story about the actual application of health IT. Oh, and the lead photo is of Bret Anderson, RN, using a Motion C5 tablet to enter patient info. Here’s a link to the Motion device. Very cool.

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