I somehow missed this article in The New Yorker about Why Doctors Hate Their Computers. It’s a fascinating read, especially for anyone that’s gone to a doctor lately.
I love articles like this because they highlight software challenges with a human perspective. Like at one point they’re talking about a list of symptoms, and one doctor says about the way some doctors use it… “the way they describe symptoms is sufficient for billing purposes, but not for colleagues who need to know the specific diagnosis.”
The truth is that those creating software need to deeply understand their customers (I hate the word users, but that’s the word I mean). They need to deeply understand the job(s) that the software is hired to do… In the example above, is the software hired to help with billing efficiency? Or to improve care outcomes? And if both, wouldn’t it be obvious that sometimes those are at cross purposes? Or, that tools used to help with one might add confusion to the other outcome?
Anyways, the article’s about 14 months old right now. At the pace of change in healthcare, 14 months of change in healthcare is like two weeks of change for the rest of us so it’s still pretty relevant reading.