I've spent a fair amount of time in hospitals over the past four years as various family members have had to endure lengthy stays and difficult treatment. Today, I'm with a dear friend who's having relatively routine surgery in this age of replacement parts (total hip in this case) and I'm having the chance to see how another hospital, not in New York or Boston, handles things.
At Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the sole academic medical center in New Hampshire, it was evident from the first appointments that the hospital had gone digital, i.e. most of the traditional paper was notably absent. You know those clipboards where you fill out the same sheets over and over? Here, patients receive tablets (OK, not iPads, but still) where they enter info that goes into a permanent record, thus saving a few branches, at least, not to mention accurate info being available henceforth.
Here are two artifacts from today that are different from what I've seen elsewhere. The first is a sheet of info (yes, it is paper, but in this case it seems to make sense), letting me know the patient's identifying number, which links to a pager such that I can wander around the campus, and to, second artifact, info that's displayed on screens inside and outside the waiting room, letting me know exactly what the patient's status is ("Intra-op" for the past 37 minutes as of this writing). Very cool. Take a look.