Doctors with Laptops

Not like Lawyers and Money.

I had to visit the doctor on Wednesday. Over the last twelve months or so I have started to notice some changes at my doctor’s offices. They are no longer carrying around the bulky charts and file folders anymore. Now everyone is carrying laptops connected wirelessly. Nurses, doctors, heck probably even the janitor. You can tell it’s a new system because usually it takes them longer to get information entered or find the patient than it did using paper, but that is just something they will get used to with repetition.

It’s not infallible though, or at least it could be better integrated, as I posted in that last entry. My lymph nodes are swollen and I have a sore throat so my doctor wanted to prescribe an antibiotic to clear it up. At first she was going to prescribe a Z-Pack. That’s that five day pack of kick ass antibiotics that kills anything. Problem is that you can’t take it while taking Vytorin, my cholesterol medicine. I found that out the hard way last year. When I said something about it you could tell she was getting all flustered because the computer didn’t tell her that. She found the information, but all it says is that you can’t take them together but gives no side-effects. I told her about those. It was like doing a bunch of cheap speed. I felt like I was having a heart attack, got weak and fuzzy headed. A six hour head rush. It was not good, particularly since I was at work the first day.

Any way, I suppose it depends on what software you are using in your EMR (Electronic Medical Records) system but something designed to make it easier ought to make it easier for them and spit out information like that. They have my meds in the system, but not the dosages (I switched doctors a couple of months ago). I have to take that information to them on the next visit. It’s about time for my bi-yearly blood work anyway so I will take that information in when I go for my return visit.

Being a technogeek I like the idea behind using EMRs but the implementation seems to be difficult for some of the guys to get used to particularly in a paper environment. We have the same issue moving to a paperless environment with my company. The COO has a laptop that he has never used. His secretary prints his emails out for him daily so he can take them with him when he goes out in the restaurants. Pretty funny actually.

* Cross Posted at

2 throughts on "Doctors with Laptops"

  1. I had the same sort of problems with a doctor relying on incorrect/incomplete info from his med data app. Plus, I’ve watched him use it and it was a complete clusterfuck in terms of application design. I think whoever wrote the app must have hated both doctors and their patients. It had a shamefully bad UI.

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