Nurses: Why are EMRs and Bluetooth Such Total Crap?

Posted by

question markInferior technology offends me. With so much talent and so many miraculous tools widely available, for a company to dare to try to trick people into buying crap… I get angry just typing the words. I work in health care, so I get more than my share of forced time with inferior technology. If you’ve never used current electronic medical record technology, you simply can’t appreciate just how clumsy, how poorly arranged, how clearly obsolete it is. It’s the closest thing to time travel I’ve ever experienced. I use lots of programs and apps all the time: PC, Apple, Android, desktop, mobile. Overall, EMR programs are ten years behind the rest, and I’m being too generous. The only reason they sell at all is that most users have no say in the matter, and most buyers never have to use them. It’s a recipe for crap, and much crap has come of it.

They may even actually cause clinical harm: see Electronic Health Records Harms the Doctor-Patient Relationship:

Electronic Health Records Harms the Doctor Patient Relationship Health Policy Blog

EMR advocates tend to frame the issue as progress: you’re either for it or against it. It’s a very simplistic and ineffective way to look at technology. I’m not against cars: I love them. Crappy cars – my last Ford disaster, for example – not so much. Quality matters.

And then there’s Bluetooth. Unlike EMRs, this technology can’t rely on forced users.  I remember when Bluetooth was going to be a miracle, a new age for humanity. It was going to take over the world, change everything, become universal, tomorrow at the very latest! Or the day after that, perhaps. That was many years ago now. Instead, it became the Segway of electronics: it never took off. Segways worked fine, but they filled a need not so many people felt they had, in away they found goofy-looking. It happens. Bluetooth, though, earned it’s consumer rejection. We have some Bluetooth headphones at work, and it’s taught me why Bluetooth failed. It’s horribly unreliable: two devices often can’t even realize the other one exists at a range of a centimeter after countless attempts by lots of tech-savvy people, and the connection gets lost, over and over. So much time wasted!  It’s wireless technology that makes people beg for cords: not good. I’m just glad I found this put without spending any money.

What’s your experience with Bluetooth? With electronic medical records? Let’s chat.


      1. My pleasure. I actually have a good number of friends and family members who are in the nursing profession. Am hoping they’re reading this and that they’d soon link up. We at Tana Daily Telegraph are indeed thrilled by your great sense of humor. Bravo!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. At my last job the nurses used the MATRIX system and it was ALWAYS a pain in the ass and took longer than plain old pen and paper. Same for recording our CNA ADLs for resident care. It took more time to do that “paperwork” than just grabbing my old go-to binder. 30-45 minutes recording it all compared to 15, and having a designated CNA to record consumption. I HATE EMR and technology for these means.
    The nurses at one job were REQUIRED to carry pagers and portable phones at all times since there was one central nurse’s station. People forgot to put the phones on the charger or took the pagers home. An interim ED bought walkie-talkies and that was the best thing. We could ask our nurses to check on other halls too.
    I agree that EMR is SEVERELY outdated and is also at an extremely high risk of hacking-because nowadays people have no shame or respect for others and their consequences. Reminds me of the movie “The Net”, wouldn’t you agree?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hospitals buy inferior products and blame the users for the results, ignore their feedback, and manage to keep hospitals some of the least organized systems in modern life, with the worst communication technology (pagers and FAX machines, really?), backwards inventory control… I could almost imagine video game companies​ simulating pen and paper on a screen. Based on the games available at such low prices, they might even outperform current EMRs. We need some tiny effort, ANY, on user interfaces in EMR. As for security, it seems the main security is autoshutdown so I can spend an hour a day waiting for the program to reboot, over and over and over…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually video games DO include writing with pen and paper-even quill and parchment! SHOCK!
        Nursing homes site the exponential cost for them, how they have no profit margin-even though their restorative programs are the money makers for the facilities (I was a restorative aide for 6 years) and the outrageous monthly cost for three walls and a curtain in a shared room. And then aides are blamed for wasting of personal care products because there is no correct way to “charge” residents for them.
        So much time and money wasted on what is “supposed” to streamline time wasted and errors, only to create more headaches. Video game creators can do MUCH better programing, with less expenditure for the company and reap huge profits-and then the functionality proposed will actually work! And they would have all kinds of firewall safety in place so there would be little to no security breaches. Hmmmm I wonder if we could convince Sony to invest in this??
        It’s deplorable you can’t do your job because of non-functioning programming, and then blaming the staff for the negative repercussions…I really wish management would get out of their cozy offices and nice leather office chairs to really SEE the functionality of these under performing “helpful” programs and electronics and the staff that is stressed and overworked. But that would be common sense, wouldn’t it??

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Video game makers know they have to sell their products to users, unlike EMH vendors who need only sell cheap crap to managers who will never suffer as users. Management serves the needs of managers, no one else. Always has been, and always will be. We must make it too expensive to ignore the clinical staff: only then will we have a voice. Only then will practical reasoning come to bear at the bedside – Greg

        Liked by 1 person

I love your comments! Please, take a moment & share.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s