Feeds

Doctors and technology: do they mix?

Sometimes...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.