Is Google Making Us Stupid Summary

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The Carr (2008) article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” examines if the use of computer tools for search, decision support, changes critical thinking skills in unintended, and potentially harmful, ways. In healthcare, the transition from paper-based records to electronic health records (EHRs) has not been a seamless endeavor. Further, what was once described as a revolutionary system that will transform patient care and enhance connectivity, now largely has a reputation for being time consuming and cumbersome. Ultimately, to date, EHRs and accompanying systems like EPIC have not lived up to their hype. During a 15 minute interview with a subject matter expert (SME), a tenured nurse, I asked questions pertaining to how the transition from paper-based records to an EHR has affected their daily work and whether she feels this technology has changed their clinical decision-making processes. Further we discussed issues related to patient confidentiality and whether or not their clinical problem solving and critical thinking skills were negatively affected.
The nurse I interviewed has been in the field since 1995, approximately 22 years. When she started her career, she was a nurse in the medical surgical unit of a relatively small (80 beds) community hospital in rural Iowa. At that point, the hospital was still completely reliant on paper-based medical records. She remembers instances, where records would be misplaced or completely lost by forgetful doctors. Her first introduction to an EHR was when she moved to Georgia and started working at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Grady had recently implemented EPIC software and was transitioning fully to EHRs. From what she can remember the shift from a paper-based system to an EHR at Grady was not disruptive. In fact, she remembers a long span of time (weeks) where hospital operations, specifically, patient registration and medical record keeping and billing decreased in efficiency as a result of the new system.
During our conversation the SME outlined what she viewed to be advantages and disadvantages of an EHR. The primary disadvantage to the EHR was the shift in attention from that patient to the computer that occurred with the implementation of the system.
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