Saturday, February 18, 2012

Medical computerization

Back when I was still training in Medical School, we had to lug around portable typewriters in order to make our charts -- admitting forms, requests for x-rays and workups, discharge summaries etc. I do see the wisdom in that, because our handwriting was so much more difficult to read when we had to write under pressure or when it's past bedtime for most people and we've been awake for more than 24 hours already. Not the best circumstances, prone to mistakes, and for the most part repetitive. It's the same patient history that we're typing over and over again. For some reason, the resident staff didn't allow any of us to use computers, even if it were just to use Microsoft word. Of course, notebook computers were even more expensive at the time, and only a few of us could afford them and could actually bring one of those plus a printer to our on-call room. It's still the typewriter, baby.

 Times have really changed. Now, all the clinics I go to use medical computers for everything -- charting, billing, queueing patients, etc. It still is not a perfect system by any stretch of the imagination, but it has certainly made a lot of aspects of patient care more organized and more easily accessible. It is, without doubt, an improvement over the old system.  I am happier with what we have right now.  Hmmm, I hope that can be applied for writing down claims for HMOs.  It's such a drag having to write the same info over and over again.