The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age
Wed, Apr 15 2015 - 6:00pm
Robert M. Wachter, M.D., Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Medicine, UCSF; Director, Division of Hospital Medicine
Everyone had high hopes that computers would be the magic bullet to improving healthcare’s safety, quality and efficiency. In the past five years – due to a $30 billion federal incentive program – medicine has finally, reluctantly, gone digital. Using a dramatic case in which a child received a 39-fold overdose of a common antibiotic, this talk explores some of the unforeseen consequences of information technology. Those consequences range from the movement to hire scribes so doctors and patients can look each other in the eyes again to the tendency of clinicians to defer to a new kind of authority: an electronic one. It will also touch on core issues in medicine, such as what it means to be a doctor – and patient – in the digital age. Dr. Wachter’s new book, The Digital Doctor, will be published in April.