Allen Curreri's Blog
Technology has made almost every aspect of our lives faster, easier, more convenient, and information-laden. The smarter our computers get, the more we rely on them — and usually this is a good thing. Computers, after all, are able to store and process information in mind-boggling quantities, and more information should lead to better decisions. There are some situations, however, in which increased speed and impartiality can be dangerous.
Each and every day, doctors make some of the most important decisions of their patient’s lives. The pressure is extreme, the stakes couldn’t be higher, and often the time frame is compressed into a few seconds. A few seconds to make a choice that could be the difference between life and death.
Doctors are highly trained, of course, and a good doctor draws upon vast expertise and years of experience. Still, anyone who has ever faced a challenging medical decision and sought a second opinion knows that even doctors vary in their interpretation of information and their subsequent recommendation — a recommendation which may have huge consequences for the patient.
Innovative new IT products are appearing in EDs at a breakneck rate. But are these shiny new toys really leading to better medical care for patients? Our research suggests that the secret ingredient has to do with the mindset physicians adopt when they engage in the daily work of treating patients. To successfully juggle training, intuition, and technology, ED physicians need to be highly mindful.