Mar 8, 2009

losses in «information transitions»: time, errors, sync

Example of information loss in «information transitions». Actual high mobility of healthcare workers to collect data on tuberculosis patients. IS applied research solution: capturing information (almost) directly to PDA. Still have to be entered by workers, but after collected through the PDA stays in digital form and is apt for transfer to other IS.
"Under the old patient tracking system, a team of four healthcare workers would visit more than 100 health care centers and labs twice a week to record patient test results on paper sheets. A couple of times a week, they returned to their main office to transcribe those results onto two sets of forms per patient -- one for the doctors and one for the health care administrators.

From start to finish, that process took an average of more than three weeks per patient. There was also greater potential for error because information was copied by hand so many times.

With the new system, health care workers enter all of the lab data into their handheld devices, using medical software designed for this purpose. When the workers return to their office, they sync up the PDAs with their computers. " [taken from Harvard-MIT Health Science and Technology News & Events, Researchers use handheld devices to monitor TB patients in Peru]

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