AI clinical

I didn’t become a physician to do data entry

I opened Ms. Tucker’s chart. There were twenty-one tabs vertically on the left-hand corner of the screen and eighteen tabs horizontally on the top of the screen. I quickly glanced through the cluttered twenty-one vertical tabs; I clicked on the one I am looking for — “transfer medication reconciliation” in the 19th slot. A new grid showing sixteen held orders opened. I selected each of them separately and clicked on “continue.” Select and continue. Sixteen times two: thirty-two clicks.

Source: Mallidi, J. (2018). I didn’t become a physician to do data entry.

Another call for clinicians to be more involved in the design, development, deployment and evaluation of clinician-facing software. There’s evidence that poor software design leads to unreliable data capture, placing patients at risk, as well as being at least partly responsible for physician burnout. Unless you’re a clinician working in the complex (chaotic?) environment of a health system, you’re probably not going to design a user interface that:

  • Is intuitive to use
  • Enables accurate (valid and reliable) data capture
  • Is secure but ALSO user-friendly
  • Degrades gracefully (is tolerant to faults)

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By Michael Rowe

I'm a lecturer in the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. I'm interested in technology, education and healthcare and look for places where these things meet.