Everyone’s desperate to see tablet computing make us more efficient. Case in point is the recent Futuredocs post by Vineet Arora on her experience with the iPad on rounds. All of us want the iPad to change our clinical lives. After reading her experience, I wonder if some of the line items shared at ‘powerful examples’ may have been influenced by the effect of the shiny new thing. The post does offer the balanced points of the iPads downside.
I ran a busy inpatient service at Texas Children’s Hospital with Baylor College of Medicine residents at almost the same time that Dr. Aurora ran iPad rounds. I’m not sold that I need to be making the iPad the center of my hospital rounds just yet. I have no doubt that at some point it will, but right now I’m not sure.
You can read how I think iPad adoption by first year medical students will change medicine. But the content-rich world of the first-year medical student is different from the bustling world of the resident. It seems we’re still trying to figure out how it improves care at the bedside. Not how can we find a way to make it work, but rather how is a particular app designed to measurably impact care?
I was a resident back when the Newton had its run. I remember an attending who insisted that the Newton was the answer to all of our problems. Rounds were a living Hell as we sat and tried to make the technology fit into our workflow.
I see analogies.
We have to be careful not to put the tool ahead of itself. It doesn’t need to be forced. It’s the future for sure but the future may not be now. Let’s give the iPad credit where credit’s due and understand that it may not be the answer to all of our problems – yet.
And hats off to Vineet for pushing the envelope and sharing her experience.