The Shifting Burden of Technology


David Morin, MD, RPh, FACP, CPI, director of research for Holston Medical Group

The phrase “technology solution” begs the question: A solution for whom?

A 2016 global survey of 252 sites by CenterWatch and ACRP explored the impact of technology and advanced the discussion in the May issue of CenterWatch Monthly. The response from a majority of sites discussing their experiences with technology was not flattering. Site concerns ranged from requirements for additional training, poor reliability of systems, use of outdated hardware and software, and time spent managing more devices. Though the goal is to improve efficiency, these processes sometimes add more work and challenges in a field increasingly burdened by complexity.

Technology concerns aren’t limited to investigative sites. As reported in the Dashboard, as of March 2015 there were 779 information technology (IT) vendors supplying electronic health record (EHR) products to nearly 500,000 healthcare professionals in the U.S. Of these, five companies comprise more than 50% of the market share. Communication between these systems remains a major challenge.

…Sites now have to spend significant time storing devices, training, trouble-shooting, and uploading information.

Also, the May 2016 issue of Internal Medicine News discusses 10 ways EHRs lead to physician burnout. Major complaints include too many clicks, poor workflow, bloated notes, and long sign-in processes.

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