A four year-old-boy is pulled, flatlining, from the bottom of a lake, and rushed to the emergency room. No one knows how long he was underwater, they can only say that CPR was administered, and the boy showed no response. The doctor on call, David Hilfiker, drops everything. Dashing to the operating room, he lets his practiced hands take over.
Category: Medical Technology
Incentives for Computerized Care: How Can Hospitals Navigate Tech Without Compromising Patient Outcomes?
It’s not exactly a new insight to say that technology is the future. Both science and the popular imagination have been anticipating the development of super smart tech for decades, tech that will help us live longer, better lives on almost every front. Just like in the movies, however, this powerful technology can backfire if we don’t take the time to understand it properly and think critically about its integration.
Health has always been as much an art as a science. Since the beginnings of medicine, intuition has played a key role in a physician’s ability to diagnose and treat their patients. Now we are facing a shift in the very fundamentals of the practice. Intuition has begun taking a back seat to technologies like clinical decision support systems
When I was just starting out in the medical field I traveled door to door, hospital to hospital selling scanning equipment. As a young man, this put me in the unique position of being responsible for teaching new skills to doctors, even if it was only the operating instructions for an ultrasound. More importantly, those hours spent in the ER stuck me right on the front lines, experiencing firsthand the incredible demands many doctors face on a daily, even hourly basis. I watched as doctors were confronted with impossibly complex choices, witnessed as they made decisions in a matter of moments that would change the course of their patient’s lives forever after.
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.