Is Healthcare Too Reliant on Technology?

Read Transcript

No, I think it's not reliant enough. That's not to say that there aren't places where we don't have as much of the human touch as we need to. I think that's certainly true, but I think technology could help us eliminate some of the errors that are inevitable if we rely overly on humans to do things that humans aren't good at.

The complexity of our system, the number of options available to any clinician for diagnosis for therapy. The number of decisions that a busy clinician has to make everyday, now overwhelms the actual capacity of the human brain to manage. So if for instance if we expect an individual doctor to keep up with everything in his or her field by reading journals at night, they can do nothing but read journal all day everyday all year and they'd still fall behind.

So in fact there are a number of various where I think we need more technology to deliver knowledge to providers at the point of care that they need to make decisions to help patients avoid having to go see people when you could get an email of what your lab results are. I happen to be a patient at Kaiser Permanente.

When I have my lab done, I get the results on my phone that afternoon, that evening. The notion that someone would travel across town, sit in a waiting room, get taken into a room and spend their time and the doctors time and somebody's money to say, here's what your glucose is, that's insane.

So those sort of things actually I think are places where technology needs to be more used not less used in part, so at the places where we do need a human touch, where we need to look people in the eye and communicate, we can focus people's time and effort and energy on that as opposed to having my day filled with stuff that could have been done by email.