MED e-care Blog

Technology in Healthcare Versus the Horse and Buggy

By Jing Chen  |  29 November 2017


There must have been some interesting dynamics when automobiles replaced the horse and buggy. There were those who refused to let go of their horse. It was reliable and only needed hay. It served them well for years, why change? Besides, automobiles were noisy, smelled and unreliable. Those who embraced the automobile and abandoned the horse, were confused why others continued to use a horse. Horses smelled, were slow, would kick and were unreliable.

Technology has created similar dynamics in our society today. Those who embrace it and use it regularly, cannot do without it. They do not understand why there is a need for paper back-ups when the information is at their fingertips with a mobile device. There are those who just cannot let go of paper and have limited trust in the accuracy and reliability of technology as the only method to hold and communicate any information. 

It took years to abandon the horse and buggy. They slowed cars down. Having two identical systems today (technology and paper) slows everything down. 

Technology will create a paperless society and it is slowly doing that. Unfortunately, the workload has increased and will continue to increase as long as we require information to be duplicated into two separate mediums - technology and paper. The health care sector is notorious for this. We have everything in duplicate. This will not continue. The younger generation, who is technologically savvy and struggle with anything to do with paper, are the ones who will shape health care practices in the future.

Eliminating paper documentation will take time. However, the more investment in up to date technology, software and the proper training in how to use it, especially for those who are not technologically literate (still rely on the horse and buggy) is necessary to prepare a facility for tomorrow.

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