Intended for healthcare professionals

Reviews Personal views

Engaging clinicians in IT—one step forward, two back

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 12 January 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:127

I am a consultant in a busy hospital department known for its team work and for being an innovator in IT. We do more than the average number of clinics per week, and we have a commitment to communication, audit, and other things you need IT for. So why have I recently been reported to my trust's lead clinician for IT as being “intemperate”? Maybe because I know how the technology ought to work and am expressing my frustration.

In the late 1990s my colleague—then as new and enthusiastic as I had been until recently—developed, together with computing science students, a database for recording letters to outpatients and for discharge summaries. This system worked, and it proved its worth when minocycline and then rofecoxib became issues: we were one of the few departments that could identify which patients had been treated. The system has also been invaluable for audit and for identifying patients for audit or research.

Why have I been reported as being “intemperate”?

Our first scare came with the millennium bug: …

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