From Matthew Holt’s Fierce Healthcare newsletter comes a really disappointing study, showing an increased mortality after implementing electronic order software at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Orders are anything a person wants to get done–where to put the patient, if they should be able to eat food, if they get an IV, what medications they get, warnings about allergies, if they can get out of bed, etc. The hospiatl was implementing PowerOrders, what I think is a pretty poorly designed program (from a user interface perspective with my limited experience with it)–and it’s such a frustrating outcome. I’m a big proponent of technology advancing health care, but unfortunately it often isn’t used properly.
Technology should be used to make things easier and provider fewer hassles, not just change the hassles to a computerized version.
Update: A great list of papers about tech-related morbidity/mortality, from the wonderful Health Care Renewal.