Feeds

Doctors and technology: do they mix?

Sometimes...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Application security programs and practises

A study of the impact of technology on doctor-patient relations in the US has found that having a computer in a doctor's surgery widens the gap between the good and bad communicators in the US medical profession.

The research was carried out by medical sociologists at the University of Indiana. They analysed 54 patient visits before and then twice after they had computers installed in their rooms.

As well as determining that it wasn't a great idea to install computers in the corner of the room, so that the doctor's back was to the patient (good work there), the researchers found that poor communicators used their PC as a kind of shield between themselves and their patient.

Those doctors who already had an easy rapport with their patients used the computer to help keep the patient informed about their visit, showing them the screen to share information about drugs or lab results. They also took the opportunity to clarify medical records when patients pointed out errors or discrepancies.

By contrast, the less socially able clinicians seemed confused when the information on their computer disagreed with something the patient said. The computer, rather than the patient, was their main focus.

Richard Frankel, lead author of the study, told CIOInsight.com that doctors: "have to move to the computer record being seen as an educational tool, not notes to self". He added that the poor communicators should not abandon technology, but should just be made aware of the issues: "It's a relatively simple thing to encourage clinicians to turn the screen and make eye contact," he said.

The research will be published in the August issue of Journal of General Internal Medicine. ®

Related stories

NHS chief cans patient control over health record access
DoH broadens technology choice for GPs
Medical imaging research awarded £4.5m

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.