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Friday, November 30, 2012

How to I tell you this? It may be what you do, not your software

One of the biggest challenges of a technologist like myself is trying to explain to a physician that there may be a better way to do things.  This came up on the #HITsm tweetchat today in Question 3:
And my response was: Sometimes you need to understand the workflows just to tell providers what is wrong with them.

A perfect example of this showed up the other day as I listened to members of a House Subcommittee talk about Health IT and the Meaningful Use program.

If you list to this video around 1:11:35, you can hear an anesthesiologist explain how he cannot do med/med/allergy interaction checking on his patients in the operating room.

I'm not a Doctor, but I do know that most surgeries are scheduled well ahead of time.  I also know that the anesthesiologist has a pretty good idea of what medications he or she may be using.  It isn't Health IT that is broken here.  It's the workflow that's broken, and perhaps even the culture. If you can identify the problem, surely, you can figure out a solution.  The first thing that comes to my mind is to check for interactions using the EHR pre-operatively.

When your workflow doesn't work with your technology, perhaps it's not your technology, but rather your workflow that's broken.