Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Looking for trouble

I've been spending an awful lot of time in doctors' offices for one thing or another. The system I'm in has just (again) implemented a newish computerized "office" suite.  I hate it.  If I hate it, then you know the doctors and nurses and aides do, too.

Previously, I'd come in, say where it hurt, and someone would make a mark on a picture of whatever part of your body was causing trouble.  It would go in the chart and they could look up my previous problems by flipping back some.

On the pain scale this is negative 10
Now the poor schmuck has to scroll through the medically correct bits of my body (figuratively) on the screen and ask precisely where the pain is, what kind of pain it is, and make damned sure s/he saves it before moving on to the next bit.

All the while getting fatigued eyes and no doubt well on the way to some Workers Comp style RSI's.  I wonder if that's covered in the database?

Here's the thing for folks on the tail end or front line of any system:  If neither you nor anybody you know has had any input into the system, the higher ups bought it because of its reporting capabilities or because it was on sale.  Your work was figured in on the "savings" or "operating costs".

That's not to say the data entry isn't important.  It's crucial.  If there's anything a DBA, office manager, or C-level person hates it's dirty data.  It gums everything up, from top level summaries to down-level ratings, and having to fix something is a major pain in the ass, especially after reporting deadlines.

But that doesn't mean it can't be better.  I know of at least one 3D modeling lab that could conceivably be used to interface with a system to merge the body drawing with the database.  Get a multi-touchscreen involved and even the patient cant zoom in and point out the owie.

What I don't know is how to get them together.  Right now I've subscribed to the Healthcare IT section of Quora to see if I can get a sense of how to start to approach someone.  I'm also working through the six degrees of separation in real life to see if I can catch someone's interest in doing this.

Or, if you know, have at it below.

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