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PSNet: Patient Safety Network

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age.

Wachter R. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2015. ISBN: 9780071849463.

Over the past few years, driven by $30 billion of federal incentives to doctors and hospitals, the adoption rate for electronic health records has dramatically increased, from approximately 10% in 2008 to 70% today. In essence, health care has switched from being a primarily analog to a primarily digital industry. While evidence suggests that the digitization of health care is having a positive effect on safety and quality, many challenges and unanticipated consequences have emerged. Written by a national leader in patient safety, this book chronicles some of these, including physician dissatisfaction, changing relationships among providers and between providers and patients, new kinds of medical mistakes, and problems with clinician work flow. It also highlights some of the opportunities arising from increasingly engaged patients and the entry of Silicon Valley into the health care market. Ultimately, it paints a hopeful picture of where health care information technology may take us, making the case that this positive future state will depend on both the evolution of the software and on changes in culture, training, and the organization of the work.