Effective sharing of patient information depends on getting different and often disparate systems to exchange data and, at the highest level, process those data.

This requires sturdy bridges between systems, interpretive and compatible algorithms, and integrated strategies for how different systems will be used and will work together.

SOLUTION: Managing Human Factors

Because people provide the care, the way they work has to dictate the way machines are designed.   Mismatches between IT and human processes can lead to what are often called "user errors." These would be more accurately described as human-machine errors.  Many might be prevented with designs more in tune with the way people work.

Nowhere are such errors more likely to occur than when processes are automated, which -- ironically -- is a major focus of IT developers.  Reducing the number of user clicks holds the promise of accelerating the performance of a job and streamlining care management. But automation helps only if it achieves the same or a better end result than the one that might have taken longer and more effort.  

 

When automating processes, therefore,  IT vendors must be vigilant that the automation not only accelerates performance but does so without compromising patient care. 

 

IT developers must also look for ways that information technologies can complement human processes – ways that make them easier and more effective.  In the end, healthcare is all about people--those who give care and those who receive it. Maintaining a win-win proposition for all involved through the automation of medical processes is critically important.