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The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter

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Chapter 7Go Live

In all science, error precedes the truth, and it is better it should go first than last.

—Horace Walpole, Fourth Earl of Orford (1717–1797)

The YouTube video opens to show a balding middle-aged man sitting on a stool, strumming a guitar. In a gentle, twangy croon, the man, Robert Schwab, chief quality officer for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Denton, Texas, sings “The Ballad of Go-Live,” a week-by-week chronicle of what happened when his hospital turned on its electronic health record system in 2012. He set his lyrics to the melody of the Simon and Garfunkel folk ballad “Homeward Bound.”

I’m sitting at the nurses’ station, my ticket filed in desperation.

Waiting for the help desk guy, to give me something I can try … ...

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