By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations
Can you have email without a spam filter? Personal and important missives from friends, family, and co-workers would be lost in a sea of bilge junk emails. Eventually, most of us would miss something that mattered.
I’ve written before about distracted doctoring caused by the use of smartphones in medicine and text messages. Medical professionals are faced with the opposite problem when dealing with EHR alerts.
Whenever an order is typed into an EHR or e-prescribing system, there’s a pop-up. There are so many alerts, doctors and nurses are ignoring them. Much like the spam we all dread, warning alerts are being filtered as medical professionals close the box before reading them. Don’t think that they’re being nonchalant: the majority of these alerts aren’t life saving.
Some alerts are critical, but because of fatigue, they sometimes aren’t read. Solutions are already in the works. Advances in technology make customization easier than ever before so nuisance alerts are reduced. As we work to perfect health IT systems, we all expect some bumps in the road that will hopefully lead to smooth sailing.