Here is a great feature article from Fortune, entitled Death by a Thousand Clicks:
It’s about the visible and less-visible costs of poorly designed electronic health record (EHR) software, and the incentives that brought the current mess about. The article is a reminder that poor UX, bad information hierarchies/organization, and a lack of vision for how a tool should work is medically unethical and inhumane (on several levels). Given that the quality of software more or less reflects the quality of the communication in the group that builds it, the implication is that poorly managing a EHR company is also inhumane.
Some points that I find interesting:
- Poor UX and poor information design is implicated as a leading contributor to physician burnout (!!)
- The enterprise software world is an entirely different beast from startups.
- QA (on the part of the software companies) and due diligence (on the part of the hospitals) seems to be lacking, especially because the consequences of software-induced medical errors are high. (For comparison, here is an article about how the code that launches the space shuttle is made nearly bug free.)
- Apparently, voice-recognition interfaces are still being developed to transcribe medical data.
- It seems that neither public-health foundations nor sets of wealthy philanthropists have offered to donate money to hospitals that agree to participate (or pressure their vendors to participate) in a data-interoperability / medical-record-standards consortium.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the article (or the points I’ve raised here), I think the discussion could prove fruitful.
Edit: I had forgotten that Atul Gawande wrote up another perspective: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/11/12/why-doctors-hate-their-computers