The Attributes of Clinical Work-Flow

Let me start by extending my sincerest thanks to Dr. Clifford Goldsmith for contributing his insightful views to HealthBlog during my vacation.  You can be sure that we'll be asking him to become a regular contributor.

I will echo on a few thoughts from his most recent entry.  We must indeed be thinking about the "clinical work station" of the future.  I've written extensively on the attributes that solutions and devices must possess in order to address the work-flow needs of clinicians.  Chiefly they must offer the very best and most contemporary information-worker applications.  They must provide a much more intuitive user interface.  They must offer multiple data input options.  They have to meet mobile work-flow requirements.  And, they must be interoperable and affordable.

Dr. Goldsmith's car analogy can be taken a step further.  Isn't it interesting that one can sit in any make and model of automobile among the hundreds of makes and models available, and with only a brief orientation to its dashboard and controls, drive it away and down the freeway at 70 miles per hour.  If only our clinical work stations and healthcare applications adhered to the same principles of intuitive design, standards and functionality!  Imagine walking up to a clinical work station or other healthcare IT system and within minutes, with almost no additional training, knowing exactly how to "drive" it.   The answer lies in the adoption of more standardized and commoditized technologies and software solutions in healthcare.  That is something we are passionate about at Microsoft Healthcare and Life Sciences.

Within the next few days, I'll tell you a little more about how I spent my Christmas vacation.  Let's just say I got a good, first-hand and rather bitter taste of the communication and collaboration gaffs in healthcare delivery today and why we must demand more from the industry.

Bill Crounse, MD   Healthcare Industry Director   Microsoft Healthcare and Life Sciences


Comments (5)

  1. PatriotB says:

    The biggest challenge to healthcare IT isn’t the technology, it’s the physicians who refuse to learn or use it.

  2. Bill Crounse, MD says:

    That’s exactly my point. Much of what’s out there is too hard to use, too expensive and offers physicians little return on investment. Docs are not technophobic. Physicians will rapidly adopt technology that improves office productivity and the quality and safety of the care they provide, especially if it meets the affordability test.

  3. PatriotB says:

    I used to work for a health care IT company and ran into quite a few doctors who were quite technophobic, and downright refused to use the new system. It’s hard for some doctors to admit that there’s stuff out there that they don’t know. Heaven forbid they need to get training or ask for help. Regardless of how easy to use it is, or how much it can help them, it doesn’t mean anything if they won’t give it a try.

  4. hlthblog says:

    Yeah, herding cats is the analogy frequently cited. Perhaps we need to add more "catnip" to the mix. None-the-less, a new generation of young docs who literally grew up with computers, and don’t know how to function without one, are beginning to force needed changes in the industry. I remain an optimist! This is a great time to be in healthcare IT.

    Bill Crounse, MD

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