The Medical Informatics weblog reports on an article in the Washington Post on the use of technology as an intrinsic element of the day to day workings of a medical practice. Hand held wireless devices holding patient records, internet access in patient waiting areas, and nicely printed prescriptions seem to form elements of the solution.
It is interesting that this view of the use of PDA type devices is still considered new and futuristic. I seem to remember a report many years ago from the NHS in the UK, where a survey of patients found that a doctor entering notes directly onto a PC from behind a desk was found more intimidating and less personal than if the doctor was taking the notes manually.
It seems to me that the idea of entering the information onto a smaller device like a PDA offers the possibility of a more personal engagement being established with the patient – certainly more than being half hidden behind a large CRT ever could….