Why hasn’t IT been able to transform health yet? Why do clinicians ‘usually’ hate computer? How can we accelerate clinicians’ adoption of IT? These were some of the questions which were addressed in the power discussion which was held on the second day of Express Healthcare’s Health Senate 2019. Moderated by Dr Ujjwal Rao, Senior Clinical Specialist, Elsevier, the power discussion on the topic ‘Accelerating technology adoption by clinicians’ saw various industry experts and leaders explore how knowledge-based solutions can help doctors to boost treatment outcomes.
On why IT has not yet been able to transform healthcare, a participant pointed out that this could be because most known technologies, be it IT or otherwise, are more diagnosis oriented. That makes it bothersome for clinicians to indulge in such technologies, as at the stage of treatment they prove to be of little value.
Dr Rao, however, pointed out that indeed IT can assist clinicians by helping them reduce errors that occur during documentation while writing prescriptions and delivering care. “According to a Harvard study, around 52 lakh medical errors occur in India. About 10 per cent of them is fatal in nature. Smart implementation of IT can help clinicians minimise such incidents and positively influence the factors that affect the operational variability in the healthcare sector,” he said.
“Care that is important is often not delivered, and the care that is often delivered is not important,” further added Dr Rao as he explained that the latest software can help clinicians make smarter calls on the nature of treatment, verify if a medicine that has been prescribed is appropriate and provide an overall more proficient treatment.
Similarly, IT can also help doctors keep up with the ever-expanding knowledge base that the medical field offers. Talking about knowledge variability, Dr Rao pointed out that it gets difficult for clinicians to stay updated with the rapid changes taking place in the industry and IT can not only help them be aware of them but also help them keep this new information organised and ready to use when needed.
The discussion came to the deduction that doctors are not averse to the latest technology, but tend to avoid it as the current IT setup only adds to a clinician’s exhaustion, wastes time in the little consultation time that a patient receives, and does not add much value to treatment.
On the other hand, a practically feasible information technology setup can assist clinicians in making the right treatment choices and delivering faster, better care to the patient. A smart IT structure should be easy to use, should ease a doctor or his team’s workflow and enhance its user’s knowledge, and thus, improve the final outcome, Dr Rao concluded.