Why Doctors Hate Their Computers?

If you haven't read Atul Gawande's article on why doctors hate their computers from the New Yorker, you should do so.  It does run a bit long but the first half of the article is definitely worth it (spoiler alert).  Doctors hate their computers for the same reason all of us chained to meticulous time and task reporting requirements do: computers pose both an assist and a distraction to the task at hand. It is easy to like the former and hate the latter without appreciating your own internal inconsistencies.

It is over the half way point in Gawande's article where he briefly mentions what I think is really driving the Taylorism of health care.  Yes, you submit your records, your notes, and your billing outline and then the insurer and others review it to make sure no billing opportunity is missed. I would suggest that improved outcomes and increased standardization are merely the by-products of the true purpose: capturing billable time and services to  be billed at the highest allowable rate.


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