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Saturday, August 28, 2010

I Stole A Cow-Episode I

OK maybe I didn’t steal it, I borrowed it. Let me enlighten you how it started… just few years ago.

There was this doctor(Me) who was minding his own business, printing his own list, carrying stacks of labs, writing encrypted doctor notes and filing them in the wrong places. He was approached by a suspicious looking character with thick glasses, smoking a cigar (Stop, OK maybe he was not smoking a cigar!). The only think he was missing was a long overcoat and a brim hat. He whispered “I am an IT tech and I think you should get a cow”. Hmmmm… my mind started to wonder, what will I do with a cow? My house is not big enough to keep a cow. I don’t drink milk. Is he saying that because I am from Pakistan. I am sure that my wife will not approve of it. I can make her steaks! How about if I ask this guy to give me some sheep and lambs to go with it then maybe I can convince my family to open a petting zoo of some sort. I started out by saying “how about”… he cut me in the middle and said “you know a COW, Computer on Wheels”. “Ohh…. oh I know what you mean” I said sheepishly but never blinked.

Apparently with time I got acquainted with a spanking new COW of mine….. my precious.  I found COW and all it’s cousins as an invaluable tool. Whether you carry a laptop, a tablet PC or a notebook, all of these devices improve your efficiency and may in turn improve patient care and satisfaction. Data is essential to patient care. For example if you are in the room and you have a data device on you, you can show patient’s what their chest X-ray looks like and what their labs are as compared to the day before. Rather than doodling on a napkin, you can show them an illustration from various web resources.

This process transformed in few years and made way to CPOE (Computerized Physician Order Entry). CPOE is tough love, it is like breaking a wild horse. It takes time and relentless effort in the beginning but once you break it, it becomes your best companion.

Unfortunately people steal my COW all the time, not literally. They “borrow” it and than I have to send a search and scout party to find it. Sometimes I am forced to steal someone else’s COW.  

Hence I am a COW thief. You may wonder why is there an Episode I? In the next episode I will discuss “COWS go through Identity crisis”. So bear with me.

About the picture: I am on a prowl, stalking a potential unsecured COW.


Raj said...

I doubt COW would be a long term solution (not because I think people will become lactulose intolerant) but with the new iPad and some of the new upcoming tablet computers it will really change the way we do things. Although integreation of technology has been very slow in the medical world at the moment.

Human Factor said...

Very true Raj, as physicians we are very resistant to information technology. 
The problem with IPad and tablet like devices are,

1- Cerner does not support Apple products. 
2- I have problem putting these laptops away when you are examining a patient. 
3- short battery life. 

Appreciate your input. 


Anonymous said...

you stole my COW.