Is Your Doctor's Use of Technology Hurting Health Care? New Report Shows Negative Impacts of Computer Use in Medical Profession

CALGARY, Feb. 23, 2017 /CNW/ - An Assistant Professor at The School of Public Policy and Cumming Medical School has published research showing that the computer systems widely adopted in hospitals and doctors' offices routinely get in the way of human conversation. 

"It's not just that patients feel less engaged by a doctor who spends all of her time on the computer," says Dr. Myles Leslie, "doctors, nurses, and social workers are also less likely to talk to one another to pass along updates.  And that's a patient safety problem." 

Dr. Leslie's research team observed healthcare workers in hospital Intensive Care Units as they used computers and interacted with one another and their patients. High volume computer users spent up to 90% of their shift on a computer.  "With that much time spent on a computer, how can you be talking with your patient, or the rest of the care team?" noted Dr. Leslie.  Published in the journal Health Services Research, the team's paper raises questions about how technology is rolled out in the healthcare system.

More research is required to determine the effects on patient outcomes.  However, there is no question that an overreliance on computers erodes the health teams' culture, ethos, and relationships, as well as and the patient's experience of care.

The report can be found at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1475-6773.12466/pdf

SOURCE The School of Public Policy - University of Calgary

For further information: To request an interview with the author or for more information please contact: Morten Paulsen, 403.220.2540, Morten.paulsen2@ucalgary.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.ucalgary.ca/policystudies/

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