I made this comment on Twitter and actually had a couple medical record companies agree with me, making the point that yes they as well as almost everyone else out there at some point in time has put out some “buggy” software.  Let’s face it we want to get the doctors to move up the ladder to electronic records but on a day to day basis, they have a lot staring them in the face.

When you go see your doctor do you want him/her to focus on your blood pressure or fixate on his cloud services?    I think we all know the answer to that one and for the MD to bring all of this under one roof and ensure your chart is documented properly and that you get the correct care and treatment, it’s a bit of a juggling act at times.  I think we are looking at time where the old KISS (keep it simple stupid) value is getting lost or revalued somewhere along the line.  Why are we seeing “scribes” appearing in emergency rooms?  You have to stop and think about it as if it were so easy and simple, why do these folks now exist? 

Medical Scribes Still Continue to Grow Beyond Just Emergency Medicine…

In a hospital setting today I think we have some strong structured implementations too and the CIOs do their best to make it as easy as possible, but they too in the middle of their design have to take detours so as to not overlook something that should perhaps be added.  Let’s not also forget the doctors are keeping up on their continuing medical education efforts, staying on top of FDA recalls, keeping up to date with new procedures, meeting the rules from the hospitals relative to utilization, answer to an IPA for meeting standards, attend board meetings, oh yes, and see patients too.

In short I think the doctors would like a little room to breathe here and there as continuous software updates on a very frequent basis are disruptive to their working environment too.  Most are willing to try out new features of course to give feedback but again there needs to be a balance here as we don’t want to lose the focus of taking care of the patient for the sake of software updates or buggy software as it occasionally happens today. 

Scribes in Healthcare Continue to Grow At Major Hospitals–Proof that Medical Records Systems are Still Not User Friendly Enough And Can Disrupt Physician Time With the Patient

Consumers are now starting to get a taste of this too with participation from their end and when it comes to keeping a personal health records I don’t see a whole lot of participation there either.  For that matter we have no role models either, but rather groups of “experts” who have never used a PHR that say '”you should use one”. 

The experts have not quite figured out social values yet with social networks as the value here is comparing notes with someone who is in your similar or same situation.  I call this “Magpie Healthcare” for all of those who just repeat and don’t participate as a consumer themselves.  I don’t care where your article gets published on personal health records, as if you are not using one, then we have more magpies on the loose. 

Anyway, just give some thought here before you jump all over your doctor for their use or non use of medical software and think about what you are doing as a consumer and if you are joining the cause here.  I wonder how many in government are using a PHR?  We never hear anything even though the Surgeon General’s office supplies one for free?  When you get right down to it, many of those folks are too busy being “Experts” telling everyone else what they should do.  Those are a dime dozen today out there on the web

Relying on Experts When They May Not Exist–Many Intelligent and Smart People But Do We Have Misconceived Paradigms-TED

When you see that scribe in the examining area with you, now you might have a guess as to why they are there.  With as complicated as healthcare has become today just look at the over all picture before beginning to throw stones and pass judgment.  That doctor in the course of his day might be a “beta tester” and is working hard to get the documentation and treatment done right.  That is why Extormity  exists, the parody of all of the complicated processes of medical records.

Extormity Revealed! Medical Informatics Engineering (MIE) and NoMoreClipboard.com The People Behind the Parody

One other thought here too, remember your doctor in his plight for electronic medical records might be facing his own peer “Magpies” too so again the need for the exchange of opinions and experience there too helps things along.  When it comes to many avenues of healthcare from both the clinical and consumer side, we are still stuck with this old paradigm of “its for those guys over there’. 

What makes the so strong is the fact that we all live in a world that is very non predictable today and sometimes folks look outside their own world of perhaps doing something constructive for themselves and focus on what others are doing wrong. This makes them feel good as they feel they have contributed some good when in fact it may not have been appreciated, especially if the advice is coming from a “non participant” in other words those Magpies out there swooping again.  Non participants are everywhere but at times they get particularly irritating when they are individuals in the government that claim to be experts at something they have never experienced or written about. 

We all do it to some degree here and there but when Magpies become rampant and everyone is an expert at something they have never touched or dealt with, it’s obnoxious.  We deal with it in person, on the web and everywhere we turn today and thus the rise of social networks to where people can find someone who has in fact experienced the same issue or is a participant in the same area thrives. 

So next time when you visit your doctor give this some thought, do you want to talk to a software beta tester or a clinician?  Be patient and see the whole scenario before one begins throwing stones and help stamp out “Magpie Healthcare” for your own sake of getting better care via constructive and be a participant from the consumer end of Health IT.  BD   


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