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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 8Unanticipated Consequences

We have the capacity to transform health with one thunderous click of a mouse after another.

—U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt, in 2005

Emergency department physicians spent 44 percent of their time entering data into electronic medical records, clicking up to 4,000 times during a 10-hour shift.

Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review magazine, October 11, 2013

In a brilliantly tart essay published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2006, an internist named Robert Hirschtick described what happened when his hospital, Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial, went digital. As physicians learned to use the new timesaving features of their electronic health records, he wrote, “Their ...

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