Chris Longhurst

Clinical Assistant Professor, Stanford School of Medicine

Unintended Consequences of Healthcare IT
60 minutes, 27.9mb, recorded 2008-07-08

If your confidence in healthcare is hurting, listen to this inspiring talk by pediatrician Chris Longhurst for a quick boost. Chris gives an intelligent and honest overview of technology adoption by hospitals, its huge benefits in reducing errors and costs together with its unintended consequences and how to manage them. Learn nine common problems that arise from healthcare IT adoption and take heart that we have smart, caring doctors like Chris to work through them, so patients can reap the benefits.

The majority of hospitals in the United States rely primarily on paper or verbal communication between doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and patients and their caregivers. This can lead to incorrect dosages and medications, misinterpretation, and mistakes, contributing to patient deaths. Chris Longhurst says using information technology to maintain records, order medication and procedures, and even communicate with patients will go a long way in safeguarding patients against error.

But any complex system brings new problems. Chris gives examples of unintended consequences in current information technology, caused by unfamiliarity with the technology, changes in communication patterns, and overdependence on technology. IT in healthcare and other fields do not respond to or understand commands as humans do, leading to fractured communication in the beginning. Errors and adverse outcomes can be reduced through training, preparation, and constant evolution.

Dr. Chris Longhurst is a board-certified pediatrician and clinical assistant professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He also holds an administrative appointment at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital as the Medical Director for Clinical Informatics, where he has spent the last several years helping to lead the organization through implementation of computerized physician order entry (CPOE).

Dr. Longhurst received his B.S. from the University of California, San Diego in 1996, graduating cum laude with a major in molecular biology and a minor in computer science. He matriculated at the University of California, Davis, receiving his M.S. in medical informatics in 2000 and his M.D. in 2001. Dr. Longhurst completed his residency training in pediatrics at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford in 2004.

He has published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals and speaks nationally on topics that include preparing for CPOE, evidence-based implementation of clinical decision support systems, and unintended consequences of healthcare IT projects.


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