Tuesday, October 20, 2009
What Does My GPS and Electronic Medical Records Have in Common?
I love my GPS! I can travel all over, and not have to look at a map. I am comfortable that `Maggie" my Magellan GPS knows how to get me there and will lead me in the right direction. Maggie increases safety by letting me know if there is a left or right turn coming up before the signs tell me. She also allows me not to think!! I have an excellent sense of direction, however, since Maggie and I have become an item, I don't pay attention to where I'm going, so therefore I can never find the place again, without Maggie's assistance. Four years ago, Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, adopted an electronic medical records system in their L&D unit called “Peribirth.” This system is used by 34 hospitals nationwide and checks 6500 best practices and protocols and alerts nurses and physicians when there may be a possible error. Click here to read full article from Nurse.com As it has been my standard, I am not taking a position for or against this system, just asking some questions. I have no doubt that “Peribirth.” has caught errors and saved lives. Yet, I keep thinking about my “Maggie.” I know I don't have to think as much! I know if I continuously use Maggie, my sense of direction will begin to wither. Sometimes, Maggie is wrong , and I ignore her and follow my gut. I have been driving for over 35 years and have only been relying on Maggie for a year. What will happen in another three or four years? Will my gut tell me that Maggie is wrong and will I listen to my gut or will I do as Maggie says? Regardless, whether Maggie's right or wrong, the end result is a loss of a little bit of TIME. Maybe I go 5 or 10 miles out of my way before I realize she's wrong and get back on the right path. What about the doctors, nurses and midwives? Do you really believe that if they continue to rely on improved technology to catch errors, they will be able to listen to their gut when it tells them something's wrong? What about the new obstetricians, will they ever develop a gut feel? Will they deliver by the numbers and if they don't develop a gut feel, is that a bad thing? Alan