To the Editor:
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:
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.
Use of high-end technology in simple clinical decisions would be shunning our responsibility as physicians.
Problems may emerge based on the sheer volume and the complexity of new devices.2
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
Automated patient care systems also face problems of system downtime and data accuracy which further spiral costs of health care.4
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.