By Michelle Andrews
Dr. Robert Wachter is a long-time patient safety advocate who has written extensively about the trends affecting quality and safety in health care.
Wachter, associate chair of the University of California-San Francisco department of medicine, years ago coined the term “hospitalist” and predicted the rise of that profession.
In his new book, “The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age,” he turns his attention to technology in health care, and the risks and rewards as we digitize everything from medical records to office visits.
We talked recently about his new book. This is an edited and condensed version of that conversation.’
Q. As I read your book I couldn’t help thinking about the elderly. Many older people aren’t tech savvy. They’re intimidated by looking up information on computers, sending email to their doctors and the like. They’re also bigger health care users than many younger people. What needs to be done to help them get and stay engaged as technology advances?
Photo: Dr. Robert Wachter by Susan Merrell/UCSF)