Could you function without the technology “crutch”?

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The recent advancement in medical technology is astounding, if you think about it.

We can view the inside of the human body to such a fine detail that the human eye has a difficult time deciphering the pieces. We can monitor physiological processes remotely. We can view and document just about anything related to patient care remotely.

I think every piece of new technology that’s come across the healthcare spectrum in the past two decades is one of those inventions you hate when it’s first introduced. In fact, you hate it so much you might be offended by the audacity that someone thought this invention would even work, let alone benefit healthcare.

The invention picks up steam and eventually is adopted as the “standard.” You go from hating it and refusing to use it to sluggishly accepting it. We all become Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh: “Hooo-hummm. I guess I’ll go ahead and use this.”

Eventually, life seems to improve due to the use of said invention, and you bashfully admit it’s worthwhile. But then something crazy happens: You actually start to like the invention.

You like it so much you become proficient at using it. Your job gets–dare I say–easier because of this technology.

The switch has been flipped. You love it.

Then something happens. The new technology–you know, the one you thought was the best thing since sliced bread–turns out to be fallible.

Not only is it fallible, it’s downright breakable. Breakable and useless, I tell ya!

Now that it’s out of order, you have no idea what to do. You have to pull from the depths of your memory what the heck you did before your new toy, err, technology.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? A few weeks ago, our electronic health record system went down. I can’t even begin to tell you how crazy it was trying to function without that “crutch.” We were writing physicians’ orders on real paper! We were faxing orders to pharmacies with a real fax machine! And we were charting on real paper! (Madness, I tell ya!)

It was as if the sky was falling and I was Chicken Little.

Thankfully, the sky only fell on us that morning, and by the afternoon we had our crutch back.

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