May I borrow your pen?

Have I written recently I’m not a fan of technology for unless someone knows what business problem they intend to solve? It’s not so much that I have anything against any of the technology or any particular technology or EHR vendor, it’s more that I think many are misjudging what the technology will do for them, what they have to do to it, and they forget to ask themselves how to best address the problems.

Whatever do you mean? Thanks for asking—here’s an example. When the United States first started sending astronauts into space, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity.

To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 Billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300C.

The Russians used a pencil.

Have a meeting about how to best plan for and implement EHR in your hospital. One rule, all discussion should involve process, not technology. Try first to reach consensus about what to do, then look at how to do it. You may find out that all you need is a pencil.


4 thoughts on “May I borrow your pen?

  1. Pingback: May I borrow your pen? « Healthcare IT: How good is your strategy? « Healthcare IT: How good is your strategy?

    • Excellent point! I recently attended a roundtable discussion in which 4 CIO’s discussed their organizations experience with EMR useage and in one case, new implementation. The CIO with the newly installed EMR pointed out that if you think you know what to expect, you don’t. And then went on to say that his organization was now in the process, post install, of retraining personnel on the process required by the new technology. It would seem that by looking at the processes and workflows first, may make for a much smoother implementation.


      • Well written. I agree. In fact, I think if a CIO actually knew their processes ahead of time, they could actually use that information to help them select the best EHR for them.


  2. Pingback: May I borrow your pen? « Healthcare IT: How good is your strategy? « Healthcare IT: How good is your strategy?

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