Dumit and EHRs   2 comments

While I was reading Dumit, I was questioning how in the world I was really going to be able to connect to all of this scientific talk, until I got to the middle of chapter 2 and ran across this quote:

The historical turning point or scientific catalyst will be the new source of information and the device that provides it.  The challenge to its inventor is to gain the recognition for it from peers who are not prepared to change their perceptions or their stakes to accept this new information.  In fact, Phelps describes most of science in this vein of difficult revolution…..(38).

While his example below this quote deals with PET scans, this absolutely relates to the opposition we are dealing with in terms of EHRs.  While I am not sure that only one inventor is going to have to gain recognition, I believe it will be a system that has to be recognized, and it is the doctors and patients who are going to prepare themselves for a change in perception of the effectiveness of this system and reevaluate their stakes in paper record management.

And Phelp’s PET scan example isn’t much far fetched from what we are seeing with the EHRs.  When Johns Hopkins made the leap and people saw that the approach was possible, it became an accepted approach.  With EHRs, once these trial programs that different medical groups are working with become visible to the populations they will serve and viable as an approach, people  will be able to acknowledge just how effective they are; and then as with the PET scan, the EHR system can become “a really powerful thing” (39).


Posted November 9, 2010 by terieleawatkins in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Dumit and EHRs

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  1. I was thinking the same thing when I read that section. I was going to include it in my response but chose a different focus so I’m glad you brought it up. EHRs face the same type of resistance of any new technology and the suspicions, fears, and concerns that go along with unknown territories. We are suspicious of what we don’t understand. People were probably initially wary of paper checks as currency, but now we take pictures of and deposit checks using iPhones. While many of us have expressed difficulty assuaging fears when we find such concerns valid, we must also look ahead to the inevitable future and convince others to get on that unstoppable train one way or another. But with brain imaging (and EHRs), such speculation and suspicions are important to resist uncritical investment in technology.

  2. Hi All:

    I am teaching an ethics and philosophy course for nurses. All 14 students are RNs, but they have AS degrees and are now working toward the BSN.

    I took them to the computer lab this week to work on a mission statement and personal philosophy paper. Once in the lab, the students read the instructions directing them to a website.

    “How do I go to a website professor?”

    My answer: “go online and use the URL on the instruction sheet.”

    “How do I get to online?”

    After I helped 8 of the 14 use the blue e for Explorer and then explained how to type http://www.fillinurlhere into the URL window at the top of the page, I left them to create their mission statements.

    Then they were ready to type their papers in Word.

    “Professor, you say on the instruction sheet to use a Word document. Did you already give us that?”

    My answer: Nope, Word is in the computer.

    I walked them through opening Word…

    Finally, I helped a nurse send her draft to herself as an attachment to an email. She was concerned that I wanted her to use her ‘home’ email because she wasn’t at home. “How will I open the email from school when it is home email?”

    We have reason to be concerned about EHRs being used by medical professionals who do not know how to open Windows or IE or who do not understand that yahoo email is yahoo email regardless of one’s location.

    We are introducing speeding bus technology to medical professionals who cannot use tricycle technology.


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