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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Computers and Doctors: Let each do what they do best

Today's reading included a number of different but related posts:
What is interesting here are A) varying approaches with respect IT to human and human to human interaction, and B) assessments of the quality of those.

So, people are miserable at data entry, whereas computers are flawless.  On the other hand, computers are only as good as people at understanding other people in the very best of cases, and getting them to do that well using traditional inputs like handwriting or voice is hard.  So, we need to spend some time thinking about how to make it easy for Healthcare providers to communicate to IT solutions.

Computers are great at search, but humans are not so good.  On the other hand, people are really good at identifying relevant stuff and thinking about alternative search strategies.  So, we need to incorporate more searching strategies into HIT and provide support for human assist.

Computers are tireless and good at repeated interaction, but people aren't so good.  People on the other hand can pick up quite a bit from cues that computers today don't even see or hear in a single interaction. So, we need to think about what repetetive tasks we can assign to the computer, and where we need the human interaction.

The challenge in Healthcare IT is how to let each one do what it does best, and make the two talk to each other in ways that work well for both.  You hear a lot talk a lot about user interfaces, and computer interfaces, but we need to think more about the "social interface" that HIT provides (or mostly doesn't) in order for it to be really effective.


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