Why Doctors Hate Their Computers

Digitization promises to make medical care easier and more efficient. But are screens coming between doctors and patients? Here’s an excerpt by Atul Gawande of The New Yorker, which talks about the deployment of Epic, a new medical software which cost Partners HealthCare a staggering $1.6 billion, panned out: On May 30, 2015, the Phase One Go-Live began. My hospital and clinics reduced the number of admissions and appointment slots for two weeks while the staff navigated the new system. For another two weeks, my department doubled the time allocated for appointments and procedures in order to accommodate our learning curve. This, I discovered, was the real reason the upgrade cost $1.6 billion. The software costs were under a hundred million dollars. The bulk of the expenses came from lost patient revenues and all the tech-support personnel and other people needed during the implementation phase. In the first five weeks,


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