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Why Doctors Are Correct In Hating Their Computers

From a phenomenal New Yorker article by Dr. Atul Gawane of Partners Healthcare in Boston, Mass. Here are our favorite three quotes from the article which we highly recommend you read.

“Something’s gone terribly wrong. Doctors are among the most technology-avid people in society; computerization has simplified tasks in many industries. Yet somehow we’ve reached a point where people in the medical profession actively, viscerally, volubly hate their computers.”

This, I discovered, was the real reason the upgrade cost $1.6 billion. The software costs were under a hundred million dollars. The bulk of the expenses came from lost patient revenues and all the tech-support personnel and other people needed during the implementation phase.

In the first five weeks, the I.T. folks logged twenty-seven thousand help-desk tickets—three for every two users.

Why can’t our work systems be like our smartphones—flexible, easy, customizable? The answer is that the two systems have different purposes. Consumer technology is all about letting me be me. Technology for complex enterprises is about helping groups do what the members cannot easily do by themselves—work in coördination. Our individual activities have to mesh with everyone else’s. What we want and don’t have, however, is a system that accommodates both mutation and selection.

Dr. Atul Gawande of Partners Healthcare makes the compelling argument on why doctors are correct in hating their computers. This type of article is written very frequently, this one is by far the best. I highly recommend you read it.

Why Doctors Hate Their Computers