Living, working, sometimes too immersed in web technology, I am taken back by interactions where situations seem o cry for a more technological approach. My doctor’s office stuck out twice today. On a visit to a PA to deal with some ongoing leg pain (keeping me from running, grumble), she remarked as she was scribbling down notes in my 2 inch thick paper folder, “Writing up these notes is what consumes nearly all of my time!”
The second was getting some info from a nurse on which physical therapy places I could go to on my insurance plan– after some unsuccessful rummaging through a list tacked to a board, she said, “You can find out much easier if you look it up on the web. We cannot do that here since all of our computers are [eye roll] DOS and cannot use the web.”
Fortunately the medical treatment here, and lack of waiting days/weeks to get an appointment make it worth the paper hassle,
I know there are medical offices that have really embraced digital technology. A friend has started a new practice and heavily invested in electronic records systems. I recall hearing how Mayo hospital uses portable, wireless technology for medical professionals to efficiently access records, x-rays, etc. I’ve been to blood testing labs where they at least run your insurance card through a scanner.
But at most doctors I go to, there are rooms full of paper files, people xeroxing files. There are tasks like scheduling appointments, getting test results, requesting records, that cry out for a web app, but for the most part put patients and medical staff through those horrendous phone trees, leaving voice mail messages. Hurried doctors need to flip through reams of hand written notes to refresh themselves on patient histories.
My Doc is in DOS. Sigh. Kind of a new country blues song.