Feature | February 25, 2007 | Kim Phelan

Your Well-Wired World

There’s no denying it: Whether you’re a gadget geek or a technophobe, technology has invaded your world, both personally and professionally — of course, how you and all of us control and optimize that reality is up to us individually.

I recently read a “60-Minute” feature segment on Yahoo.com called “Working 24/7,” which explored the impact of wired and wireless technology on our culture, and it would be easy to draw unfavorable conclusions if you happen to actually enjoy having any life apart from your work.

“Technology was supposed to make life easier,” the introduction proclaimed. “But in the wired world of the 21st century, many Americans find they are working 24/7.”

It wouldn’t surprise me if acute care practitioners replied: “Yeah, welcome to our world.”

Technology — managed well — should indeed facilitate our daily activities without dominating us. I myself was elated upon my own technological arrival into the current millennium when I recently purchased DSL Internet service for my home, to which I also added a wireless feature that allows an online connection for my laptop anywhere in the house. Oooo, ahhh.

Of infinitely greater import is the invisible infrastructure of automation and information technology that now underpins your world — linking you, the clinician, to your patients’ current physiological data, diagnostic images and medical records so you can make better, faster decisions while caring for them. IT indeed touches most everything you use to create optimum outcomes, a subject we explore in the debut section of Special Report. We focus on the supporting role IT plays in device connectivity with hospital information systems, plus considerations for implementing PACS in the OR and ICU. You’ll also read about some of the obstacles healthcare wrestles with when it comes to adopting electronic medical records.

Besides our customary lineup of practical feature articles and physician interviews, you’ll now also see Special Report in every issue this year — and you can find them all, plus thousands of other pieces of device and technology information at our newly relaunched Web site: www.AcuityCare.net.
I invite you to “connect” with us often throughout your busy week by clicking in for some daily medical news — and coming back any time for some in-depth product research. Your feedback is welcome: Please let me know how we can make the site an even more useful resource for you.

Thanks for reading!