OMG! Plagiarism In The Health IT Online Community? I’m Delighted!

I’ve heard that “Plagiarism is the greatest form of flattery” and I’ve finally been flattered! I had writer’s block this morning, until a routine search turned up 5 EHR Workflow Flaws To Watch Out For. Fantastic! Wait. Didn’t I just write an article with the same title?

plagiarism

And there it was! Identical ideas and organization, somewhat rewritten, but in many instances copy-and-paste. For example, “EHRs fail to support user-shared mental models of workflow. One of the very few benefits of paper-based workflow is that documents and forms can” is word-for-word identical!

And no link or attribution to me.

Now, I’m the kind of guy who sees an opportunity in every problem. No more writer’s block! I’d write a blog post comparing my and their blog post. Just another way to get important ideas about EHR and health IT workflow and usability in front of as many people as possible. I’ve presented and written about these ideas for years, starting at the 2004 MedInfo meeting in San Francisco.

I’ve bolded the most important concepts and embedded a screenshot at the end of this post.

By the way, here is my own 5 EHR Workflow Flaws To Watch Out For on Medical Practice Insider.


My Original Text Plagiarized Text & Ideas
Unnatural. Unnatural:
Many EHRs do not match healthcare task structure. Most EHRs are built in a way that they do not match practices’ workflow.
Inconsistent. Inconsistent.:
Similar information within an EHR may require completely different workflows to access, depending on which vendor or even which programmer wrote a particular module. If physicians are looking to access similar information within one system, there may be two or more ways to do it based on which module is being used.
Irrelevant. Irrelevant:
At each step in a workflow, only a small subset of the possible data or entry options is relevant, yet users face high-resolution screens thick with tiny checkboxes. In most of the modules, only some information is mandatory while the other ones can be skipped. This results in overwhelming screens with aplenty tiny checkboxes
Unsupportive. Unsupportive:
Many EHRs fail to support user-shared mental models of workflow. Many modern day EHRs fail to support user-shared mental models of workflow.
One of the very few benefits of paper-based workflow is that documents and forms can explicitly and visually represent workflow state. One of the very few benefits of paper-based workflow is that documents and forms can clearly represent a workflow.
Whomever has the documents has the responsibility. Whatever remains to be filled out signals what remains to be done. If something is missing in a chart, it needs to be filled out by the person holding the document.
Instead, workflow state is hidden in database tables and obscure screens. Compare this to EHRs and we find that workflow state is hidden in databases and complex screens.
Inflexible. Inflexible:
Most important of all, much EHR workflow is inflexible. One of the biggest problems EHR users face is the lack of the software ability to be flexible.
The workflows are hardcoded. Users of the system have to make do with the inbuilt workflow or rely on the way it was installed when being deployed.
If the software is unnatural, inconsistent, irrelevant, and unsupportive when installed, it cannot easily be changed to become natural, consistent, relevant, and supportive. They cannot easily be changed to become more flexible, natural, consistent and supportive.

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