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When Technology Isn't the Answer

Technology is supposed to improve outcomes and efficiency especially when it comes to “health-information technology” (HIT). But it’s not always that simple. Zachary Meisel, a doctor/writer, argues that two recent studies of HIT in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia revealed some complications. “In Pittsburgh, medications were given too frequently because the computer used standardized dosing times to order medication (as opposed to using the time of the first dose to calculate time to the next dose),” Meisel writes. “In the Philadelphia study, many of the problems arose from what are known as human-machine interface flaws. For example, doctors would sometimes assume that a display of?standard doses were?suggested doses specific to the patient being treated at that moment (not the same thing!).” Meisel also worries about the loss of communication between doctors and others (radiologists for example), as such communication often leads to better patient care. [%comments]