Letters

Doctors and computers

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7382.220/a (Published 25 January 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:220

See also p 202

Poor system design and little investment mean hospital doctors do not use computers …

  1. Jan K Melichar (jan.melichar@bris.ac.uk), clinical lecturer
  1. University of Bristol, Bristol BS6 6JL
  2. Crown Surgery, Eccleshall, Stafford ST21 6BW

    EDITOR—Benson's article neatly summarises some of the difficulties hospital doctors have using computers.1 I would enthusiastically use computers in hospitals if seven points applied.

    1. Computers were readily available.

    2. Security measures were sensible.

    3. Email could be picked up both in the trust and at home or other work places.

    4. Patient details or past letters were accessible so, for example, you could see an emergency referral with some idea of what had previously happened.

    5. Pathology results could be viewed rapidly.

    6. Medical records were readily accessible.

    7. Access to the internet was good enough to allow, for example, reading of medical journals.

    These measures would empower doctors and make computers useful. In the trust where I work the IT department has been starved of funds, is several hundred computers short, and is able to follow NHS guidelines only to the letter, with the following results.

    1. Seven …

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