The Digital Doctor

Robert Wachter, The Digital DoctorProfessor Bob Wachter, a world expert on the pitfalls of new IT systems has been appointed by the health secretary to conduct a review for the NHS on the lessons that need to be learned to ensure a smooth move towards a digital future.

Professor Wachter is the author of The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age. The book  explores some of the problems that emerged once medical professionals started using computers to deliver care.  Why were doctors no longer making eye contact with their patients?  How could one of America’s leading hospitals give a teenager a 39-fold overdose of a common antibiotic, despite a state-of-the-art computerised prescribing system? Why would a recruiting ad for doctors promote the absence of an electronic medical record as a major selling point?

The Digital Doctor combines compelling stories and hard-hitting analysis by Dr. Robert Wachter, acclaimed author and physician, recently selected as “the most influential physician-executive” in the US by Modern Healthcare magazine.  The book examines why medicine and computers are often such awkward bed-fellows.  It also offers a prescription for making health IT work and a vision of hope for the future of patient care.

“I kept thinking ‘Exactly!’ while reading it,” said Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal and Complications. “This is the real story of what it’s like to practice medicine in the midst of a painful, historic, and often dangerous transition.”

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