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Date:Mon, 31 Jan 2000 22:47:21 -0500
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In a message dated 10/27/99 11:12:04 PM, Elizabeth Earle asks:

<<Could I hear from any Meditech users about how they organize their path
reports, clerical functions etc? Do you still maintain a card file, or do you
even print out paper copies at all?>>

In the experience of this pathologist at one hospital with a Meditech system
installed about five years ago, it is absolutely necessary to maintain
accessible paper copies. Meditech capriciously deletes portions of the
report, beginning with the microscopic notes, until nothing is left except
the information of interest to the bean counters.

Obviously a card file (to access reports by patient's name) is a great amount
of labor, but if reports are going to disappear entirely in a few years, then
you probably need it. Get as much information about your hospital's Meditech
system before deciding. I know one hospital with Meditech that maintains a
paper card file, while another does not (there the independent pathology
group has its own system, interfacing with Meditech).

Meditech is an ancient mainframe application ported to DOS, with a minimal
Windows shell (a high status user gets to click the mouse TWICE! before
confronting a mind numbing series of menus accessed by arcane numbers and
letters.) Memory was expensive back when the mainframe dinosaurs walked the
earth, and large amounts of text could not be maintained.

The bean counters love Meditech because it does a good job of being the giant
cash register that an M.B.A. conceives a hospital information system to be.

What this practicing pathologist LIKES about Meditech is that it makes
patients' histories and operative notes available on screen with a short trip
to the doctors' lounge (where the one physician-accessible terminal in the
hospital resides) - no more sneaking around nursing stations and pulling
coats in record rooms to get at patients' charts to try to make some clinical
sense out of the morning's slides.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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