Alert Fatigue Versus Idiot Fatigue

Exclamation danger sign

Are you ready for this?  There is again some concern for all the digital warnings being given to doctors by their EMRs (electronic medical records):

The electronic patient records that the federal government has been pushing — in an effort to coordinate health care and reduce mistakes — come with a host of bells and whistles that may be doing the opposite in some cases.  What’s the problem? It’s called alert fatigue.

Here is some more:

  • The number of these pop-up messages has become unmanageable, doctors and IT experts say, because of reflecting what many experts call excessive caution, and now they are overwhelming practitioners.
  • Clinicians ignore safety notifications between 49 percent and 96 percent of the time

Go ahead and read the rest of the article but it is meaningless.  The same idiots who are in charge will just hire “EMR Alert Specialists” who, like scribes,  will help the doctors go through all the warnings and exclamation points on their EMR records.  Think I am kidding?  I blogged about this four years ago when nurses were going through the same thing.  Read it here though the original goes back to the Placebo Journal Gazette which is gone.  It was cheaper to hire people to watch the machines who put out the alerts (bells, whistles) than to hire more nurses.

Maybe we should have less patients, which would make less records to go through?

Or maybe we just stop listening to the administrative idiots?  I call that Idiot Fatigue. And I definitely have that.


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