One consequence of moving from paper-based medical files to electronic health records: people are lazy.
Some medicos have gone to lengths to mitigate hospital security controls. Staff at one unnamed hospital put styrofoam coffee cups over proximity sensors in a bid to prevent automated log outs.
One hospital charged the junior medico with pushing the spacebar on computers every five minutes to prevent log outs.
These workarounds which keep machines logged in have resulted in at least one instance with the issuance of the wrong medication when a doctor did not realise the wrong patient records were open.
This is why you should always pay attention when you’re at the doctor or in the hospital.
While medical professionals of all stripes usually go into the profession because they want to help people, they have to work all day every day just like the rest of us. And, just like the rest of us, they become tired, annoyed, frustrated, rushed, fed up, bored, sad, or inattentive.
I can’t tell you how many times at work I haven’t been paying attention, and started typing things into Microsoft Word instead of the email message I had been intending to write.
Or even worse…a message intended for a chat with a friend going to someone else instead.
We’ve all been there.
But sometimes typing into the wrong box, or not saving a file, can have major consequences.
So if you’re at a doctor’s appointment, getting an infusion, or in the hospital, stay vigilant. Don’t nap. Pay attention. Ask questions. Be curious about what’s going on.
If something seems fishy, ask.
And if you don’t feel up to being that pushy, bring along someone who will do it for you.
As much as your nurse cares for people in a general, abstract, sense, you (and the people who love you) are the only ones who truly care about you, the human being.
So take care of yourself, and pay attention when you’re receiving medical treatment.