Tech Helps, But Human Errors Still A Big Problem At Hospitals

from the a-little-more-automation-please... dept

We've had plenty of stories in the past about hospitals becoming more technologically sophisticated, and noting that the technology helps to prevent bad prescriptions by checking for dangerous conflicts and also forcing a doctor to be clear in the prescription (typing instead of scrawling). However, a new study at one of these high tech hospitals found that there were plenty of mishaps anyway, some of which caused patients to die. Of course, this doesn't mean the technology doesn't work (there doesn't seem to be a comparison against a non-tech hospital), but that humans are still a big part of the process. Even when computers make the right decision, hospital staff still has plenty of opportunities to muck things up.

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  • identicon
    dorpus, 26 May 2005 @ 6:36am

    So can computers

    We wouldn't want computers dispensing standard, cliche advice, when patients may have special needs that do not fit the mould.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      brianf, 26 May 2005 @ 6:54am

      Re: So can computers

      i've heard of a massachusetts based company that is trying to mine data to improve decision making - http://www.qcmetrix.com/

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        dorpus, 26 May 2005 @ 7:03am

        Re: So can computers

        Hehehe, they want to make conclusions without extensive consultations with doctors? Good luck. I'm analyzing data from a large heart study project, and we know better than to believe the data -- people cannot be 8,000 years old, for example. There are many other subtler issues that need to be clarified with the investigators on a regular basis. Without regular consultations, any conclusions from the data are worthless, or at best skewed. This kind of work won't be outsourced or automated easily.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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