Tuesday, March 22, 2005

AMA News (3-21-05) Misses the same point that an Earlier annals Int Med article did

In the Professional issues section of AMA news, there is an article claiming the answer to the managing-test-result issue is "information technology".They quote the Annals article on "fumbled handoffs" by Dr. Gandhi about which I posted earlier pointing out that the disaster recounted there was not so much an IT issue as it was an issue of ignorance and lack of accountability. It may surprise those who never knew a world without computers but physicians did keep up with lab tests in the 1960s, and 1970s and earlier with notes and cards but mainly with the imperative that they were responsible for the patient and the labs and the xray reports.The reporter also quotes someone who worked on the Joint commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety who opined "More Government funding is needed" but at least admitted "technology alone won't be the answer".I can personally testify that well run practices have for years done excellent jobs with cards,reminders and calenders and even D-bases on 286 computers in managing lab tests.Apparently they did not need government funding at all for that.

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