Your editorial titled “From heroism to safe design: leveraging technology,”

by Peter J. Pronovost et al.,1  made for interesting reading. The ideas expressed for use of integration of technology to improve patient safety are innovative.

We would like to add a few points:

  1. Technology has been described as both part of the problem and part of the solution for safer health care. Healthcare providers can be so focused on data from monitors that they fail to detect potentially important subtle changes in clinical status.2  If a clinician fails to prescribe a correct narcotic dose and fails to recognize a narcotic overdose, we think there is a lack of clinical acumen.

  2. Use of high-end technology in simple clinical decisions would be shunning our responsibility as physicians.

  3. Problems may emerge based on the sheer volume and the complexity of new devices.2 

  4. The race for providing healthcare technology is presently market driven dominated by a few multinational companies. There is no focus on making it inexpensive and widely available.3 

  5. Automated patient care systems also face problems of system downtime and data accuracy which further spiral costs of health care.4 

  6. We still have a long way to go till such technology becomes widely available, is used efficiently for patient safety, and becomes truly “productive.”

The authors declare no competing interests.

1.
Pronovost
PJ
,
Bo-Linn
GW
,
Sapirstein
A
:
From heroism to safe design: Leveraging technology.
Anesthesiology
2014
;
120
:
526
9
2.
Powell-Cope
G
,
Nelson
AL
,
Patterson
ES
:
Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-based Handbook for Nurses
.
Rockville
,
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US)
,
2008
, pp
pp 207
20
3.
Kumar
RK
:
Technology and healthcare costs.
Ann Pediatr Cardiol
2011
;
4
:
84
6
4.
Campbell
EM
,
Sittig
DF
,
Guappone
KP
,
Dykstra
RH
,
Ash
JS
:
Overdependence on technology: An unintended adverse consequence of computerized provider order entry.
AMIA Annu Symp Proc
2007
;
11
:
94
8