The CLAHRC WM Director finds himself on an expert working group established to advise the Secretary of State for Health – Jeremy Hunt – on future strategy for Information Technology in the English NHS. The group is chaired by a famous American Physician and West Coast Professor, Bob Wachter. Word has it that the said Wachter was identified as a candidate to chair the working group on the basis of his recent book – ‘The Digital Doctor’. So the CLAHRC WM Director thought he had better read it. It arrived in the post today and we shall report on it further in due course. But a quick glance at the first few chapters indicate that it is extremely well-written and researched. News Blog readers will know that the CLAHRC WM Director is obsessed with the doctor-patient relationship   – the basis for the whole of medical practice. Wachter says that health care was slow to computerise, but there have been recent examples of a rush to make up for lost time on both sides of the Atlantic. And in this haste the precious doctor-patient relationship has been side-lined. Indeed, the possibility that this could happen was studied formally by the CLAHRC WM Director no less than three decades ago. It now appears to be happening on an epic scale. But we can’t go back – like the great white shark, we must keep moving forward to find the best way to use technology. Sometimes paper may be best, as discussed in a previous blog. Anyway, the CLAHRC WM Director shall keep reading and report back to you. In the meantime, consider ordering a copy for yourself.
— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director
- Wachter R. The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education. 2015.
- Lilford RJ. Two Ideas of what it is to be a Doctor. CLAHRC WM News Blog. 14 August 2015.
- Lilford RJ. A Standardised Patient’s Story. CLAHRC WM News Blog. 18 December 2015.
- Brownbridge G, Lilford RJ, Tindale-Biscoe S. Use of a computer to take booking histories in a hospital antenatal clinic. Acceptability to midwives and patients and effects on the midwife-patient interaction. Med Care. 1988; 26(5): 474-87.