The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week on the development of a
predictive tool, which pops up on the screen of electronic medical records, prompts the doctor to answer a short series of questions about the patient’s condition. Based on that information, a calculator predicts the probability that the person has the suspected ailment. It may also recommend a course of action.
The idea behind the tool which a physician developed is reduce the amount of unnecessary care. The FEHBlog recalls hear the AMA President Steven Stack complain that doctors did not have any significant input in the development of electronic medical record systems. Better late than never? But
As would be expected, many doctors balk at the idea of a computer program telling them how to do their job. The calculator makes diagnosis and treatment decisions seem simple when they really aren’t, says John Beasley, a family doctor for more than 40 years whose Verona, Wis., clinic is participating in one of the trials. He says he ignores the tool when it pops up on his screen.
It seems to the FEHBlog that just like information received from a computerized mapping tool like Google Maps, you would be making a mistake to rely exclusively on the tool. But it helps to consider the information. The FEHBlog expects that most doctors take that approach.