Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Monday, March 21, 2005

More Computerized Order Entry

Cedars-Sinai's attempt to institute computerized order entry was an umitigated disaster:
an array of problems that grew into a full-blown staff rebellion in the fall of 2002 and forced Cedars-Sinai to shelve its $34 million computer system after three months.
This sounds a bit like a "what not to do" primer.

I have no firsthand knowledge, but Cedar-Sinai's reputation is a hospital of the stars with lots of well known (i.e. big egoed) private attendings. This has to be the group least willing to adapt to any sort of technological innovation.

Taking the whole hospital live all at once with an untested system also proved to be, predictably, a disaster. Any complex system will have multiple bugs, like those detailed in the article. By starting small you can work those out as you go, but when you do it all at once, you risk a revolt, which is what they got.

I remain optimistic about the potential of computers to improve care and prevent mistakes


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